Middle East carrier Etihad has responded to the US bans on passenger computers inside the cabins of its American flights by adding more A380 capacity to its New York flights from June.
Its statement indicates that it has not experienced any loss of business similar to that affecting its ME rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Etihad Airways has experienced no significant change in demand on flights to and from the United States in recent weeks.Demand continues to remain strong on all 45 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and its six US gateways of New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas.Effective 1 June, Etihad Airways’ second daily Abu Dhabi – New York service will be upgraded to an A380, making its twice-daily flights on the route an all superjumbo operation.
This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the US market regardless of recent developments.
While the American bans on devices carried by passengers on major ME airlines was clearly motivated by pressure by US carriers to crack down on airlines that underscore their own dismal service failings the real issue is the integrity of the FAA in its previously universally applied safety regulations.
The US ban requires potentially inflammable lithium-ion batteries in portable passenger devices to be placed under the cabin floor in selected ME carriers on selected routes, which is contrary to the rules that stipulate carriage inside the cabin, where any battery malfunction can be rapidly isolated and quenched by flight attendants trained in the necessary procedures.
This discriminatory ruling means that the passenger safety of those flying some of the major air routes to the US from the Middle East has been purposefully compromised by a presidential direction.