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Etihad Airways explores new horizons in the Middle East with the launch of its newest destination

Al-Qassim, Saudi-Arabia
Al-Qassim, Saudi-Arabia

This new route is designed to meet the demands of both business travelers seeking new ventures and tourists desiring an authentic exploration of Saudi Arabia’s historical and cultural wealth.

ABU DHABI, UAE – In a move to broaden its network and enhance connectivity within the Middle East, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced the addition of Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia, to its growing list of destinations, increasing its total number of Saudi gateways to four.

The airline is set to expand its footprint by launching flights to one of Saudia Arabia’s most captivating regions. Beginning 24 June 2024, Etihad will link Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport directly with Al Qassim’s Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (ELQ) with four weekly flights.

Reflecting on the new service, Arik De, Chief Revenue and Commercial Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Launching the new service to Al Qassim this year is not just about introducing a new destination; it’s also a celebration of Etihad’s 20 years of connecting Abu Dhabi with the rich culture and economic opportunities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

“This move is aligned with our mission to deliver extraordinary experiences and the opportunity to explore the unique allure of both Abu Dhabi and our new destinations, like Al Qassim. We’re proud to expand our services within the Kingdom and look forward to welcoming passengers to experience our renowned hospitality and service.”

“Furthermore, the exceptional experience awaiting them at Zayed International Airport – Terminal A, our new home, redefines the benchmarks for travel comfort and service excellence, ensuring a memorable journey from start to finish.”

Al Qassim celebrated for its lush date palm groves, rich cultural heritage, and lively markets, offers a perfect blend of traditional Saudi culture and contemporary attractions.

Flight Number Origin Departure Destination Arrival  Aircraft Frequency
EY  0627 AUH 08:00 ELQ 09:10 A320 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
EY  0628 ELQ 10:15 AUH 13:20 A320 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
And there’s more

Starting 15 June, Etihad is increasing its service frequency to a number of key destinations, and also starting flights to Antalya and Jaipur which were announced in February.

The weekly flights to Thiruvananthapuram and Amman will be increased by three, totalling 10 and 14 respectively. Additional services include three more flights to Cairo for a total of 24, Karachi increasing to 17, and Colombo to 20 weekly flights.

The latest expansion contributes to an overall 33 per cent increase in Etihad’s total weekly flights, growing from 642 last summer to 855 in 2024, and extends Etihad’s reach from 65 to 76 destinations, significantly enhancing worldwide connectivity.

The updated schedule and the new routes have been developed to optimise the travel experience for passengers, who will benefit from greater connectivity and a broader range of travel options, alongside the opportunity to experience the sophisticated amenities and customer-focused services provided at the newly inaugurated Terminal A at Zayed International Airport Abu Dhabi.

New Destinations (Timings from 15 June 2024, all timings local)

Flight Number Origin Departure Destination Arrival  Aircraft Frequency
EY  0539 AUH 09:20 AYT 13:00 A320 Tue, Thu, Sat
EY  0540 AYT 14:20 AUH 19:35 A320 Tue, Thu, Sat

(Timings from 16 June 2024, all timings local)

Flight Number Origin Departure Destination Arrival  Aircraft Frequency
EY  0366 AUH 03:05 JAI 08:05 A320 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
EY  0367 JAI 11:00 AUH 13:00 A320 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun

­Frequency Increases 

Destination Change Total Frequency Start Date
Thiruvananthapuram +3 10 15 June 2024
Amman +3 14 15 June 2024
Cairo +3 24 15 June 2024
Karachi +3 17 15 June 2024
Colombo +3 20 15 June 2024


Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.