Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will increase its flights between Abu Dhabi and Tehran, the capital of Iran, from three flights a week to a daily service, beginning on Wednesday 15 April 2015.
The Airbus A320 Tehran service, which started in December 2006, provides 136 seats each way in a two cabin configuration, with 16 Business Class seats and 120 Economy Class seats.
Adding 1,088 new seats per week to the route, the additional Tehran flights will enable Etihad Airways to provide its guests with more choice and greater flexibility when travelling between Abu Dhabi and Tehran.
Daily Tehran flight operations will allow the Iranian capital to gain two-way connectivity to almost 50 markets on Etihad Airways’ global network.
The new schedule will establish important daily connections to key markets in the United States, including New York, Washington DC, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Los Angeles, which is home to the world’s largest Iranian diaspora.
In addition to the US cities, the Tehran flights will connect with destinations on the airline’s network across the Gulf region, Africa, Asia and Australia.
The increase to daily is the first step in Etihad Airways’ phased network expansion to Iran.
Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “We have been keen to increase the Tehran service to daily operations for some time and we’re delighted to make that move now ahead of the summer season.
“The expanded schedule will increase travel options for Iranian passengers visiting the UAE, as well as those wishing to access Etihad Airways’ global flight network, particularly cities like Los Angeles and others in the United States.”
Passengers on all Etihad Airways flights to the US, which includes Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York JFK, and Washington DC, are processed through US preclearance at Abu Dhabi airport.
This means those passengers flying from Tehran pass through all required checks including US customs, immigration and security conveniently while in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight, enabling them to avoid queues on arrival in the US and arrive as domestic passengers.
The US preclearance process is even faster for passengers who can use the automated passport control (APC) and Global Entry kiosks.
The self-service APC kiosks expedite the US entry process for American, Canadian, and eligible visa waiver program international travellers, by providing an automated process through US preclearance’s primary inspection area.
The Global Entry kiosks work in a similar way for pre-approved US passport-holders and US permanent residents.