UAE national carriers reach 603 global destinations by Q1

3 min read
Etihad aims to return to pre-pandemic passenger levels of 18 million by 2025. (WAM)
  • The 3% rise over 2022 reflects the rebounding aviation sector and caters to the rising demand for travel.
  • Etihad Airways has achieved significant growth, reaching approximately 76 destinations by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Abu Dhabi, UAE — The UAE’s national carriers have witnessed significant growth in their destination network, reaching approximately 603 destinations worldwide by the end of the first quarter of 2024, compared to 586 at the close of 2023.

This 3 percent increase reflects the rebounding aviation sector and caters to the rising demand for travel. The UAE’s position as a preferred global destination for tourism and business is further strengthened by this expansion, reports said.

Based on official data from the national carriers obtained by the Emirates News Agency (WAM), these national carriers have consistently outperformed many of their regional and global counterparts. They excel not only in the number of destinations offered but also in terms of operational performance and the quality of services provided to travelers.

Emirates Airlines currently leads the pack with 143 destinations. Flydubai follows closely with 129, while Air Arabia boasts an impressive network of 215 destinations. Etihad Airways offers service to 76 destinations, with Air Arabia Abu Dhabi reaching 29 and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi serving approximately 40 destinations.

These airlines operate from strategically located operational centers across the UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Armenia, and Pakistan.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has achieved significant growth, reaching approximately 76 destinations by the end of the first quarter of 2024. They have set ambitious goals, aiming to expand to more than 125 destinations by 2030. Etihad aims to increase the number of passengers they serve to over 33 million annually.

Building on a successful 2023 with 15 new destinations launched (including Lisbon, Copenhagen, Kolkata, and Osaka), Etihad expects to add five to six new destinations in 2024. They recently announced regular flights to Boston, adding to their existing U.S. routes serving Chicago, New York, and Washington.

Starting from June 15th, Etihad will further expand its network with seasonal and frequency increases:

Three seasonal weekly flights to Antalya, Turkey
Three additional weekly flights each to Thiruvananthapuram (India) and Amman (Jordan)
Four weekly flights to Jaipur (India) starting June 16th
Etihad is also strengthening its presence in key destinations:

Cairo (Egypt): Three additional flights, bringing the total to 24 weekly
Karachi (Pakistan): Three additional flights, totaling 17 weekly
Colombo (Sri Lanka): Three additional flights, totaling 20 weekly

Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines boasts a massive network spanning 143 destinations across six continents, including 134 passenger destinations and nine cargo destinations.

Emirates has recently increased service to Seoul with 3 additional weekly flights starting in February 2024 and introduced Premium Economy Class to São Paulo (Brazil) in November 2023 and to Tokyo (Japan) in December 2023.

Further extending its reach in South America, Emirates will launch a daily service from Dubai to Bogotá, Colombia, starting June 3rd. This new route will become their fourth gateway in South America, joining São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires. In total, Emirates operates in 19 destinations across the Americas (US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia).

Air Arabia
The Air Arabia Group has a wide network connecting approximately 215 destinations from strategic operational centres in the UAE (Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah), including 115 destinations, as well as 74 destinations from its operational centres in Morocco, 20 destinations in Egypt, and 6 destinations in Pakistan.

Air Arabia will launch direct flights from Sharjah to Krakow in Poland starting from June 29, 2024, connecting Sharjah International Airport and John Paul II International Airport daily. The carrier will also resume flights between Sharjah and Jazan in Saudi Arabia, connecting Sharjah International Airport and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Airport with 3 weekly flights starting from June 4.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi continues to enhance Abu Dhabi’s connectivity with the world, offering direct flights to 29 destinations. It continues its expansion plans and commitment to meeting customer needs by expanding its global network to provide broader travel options supported by added value to contribute to the growth of the travel and tourism sector in the UAE.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

“Wizz Air Abu Dhabi” has expanded its destination network to 40 destinations by the end of the first quarter of this year, continuing to expand its operations to meet increasing demand levels by enhancing its modern and sustainable fleet, reinforcing the company’s ambitious plans to launch flights to new destinations.


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