Evolution of the regional species? The Etihad Regional Darwin SAAB 2000

The week’s most relevant new route development has been Etihad announcing double daily flights between Dublin and its Abu Dhabi hub from 15 July.

Each flight each way has been timed to readily connect to its services to Australian cities.

Depending on whether your outbound flight is the one that reaches Abu Dhabi in the evening or early morning the connecting flight will either be on a 777-300ER and an A330-200, each in two class formats.

In other route news this week Etihad’s gigantic up-the-road neighbour in Dubai, Emirates, is to double its A380 services to Moscow to twice daily, and Etihad has also started operating its Etihad Regional brand in Europe using the rebranded Swiss regional, Darwin and its fleet of 50 seat SAAB 2000 turbo-props.

Etihad doing its own version of REX in Europe might not seem all that relevant to the Australian market, but it has raised the hysteria level in the EU about Middle East airlines by several notches, as has the UAE carrier’s investments in AirBerlin, Air Serbia and Irish carrier Aer Lingus.

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