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Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a new nonstop flying route from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai. The airline takes its name from an Arabic word that literally means Union, which refers to the seven emirates that makes UAE.
Etihad’s new flight route is to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which is the primary international airport serving Shanghai city. The airline has planned to operate five weekly flights by Airbus A330-300 starting April 15, 2012. Shanghai is the third destination of Etihad airways in China after Beijing and Chengdu.
The outbound flight to Shanghai number EY862, while the inbound flight to Abu Dhabi number is EY867. The EY refers to The International Air Transport Association (IATA) code of Etihad airways.
The EY 862 is scheduled to depart from Abu Dhabi international airport at 10:10 local time and arrive in Shanghai at 21:45 local time on all days except Mondays and Fridays. The flying time of the EY 862 is 7 hours and 35 minutes.
The EY867 is scheduled to depart from Shanghai Pudong international Airport at 00:20 local time and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 06:30 local time on all days except Tuesdays and Saturdays. The flying time of the EY867 is 10 hours and 10 minutes.
The difference between the duration of inbound and outbound flights is due to factors such as wind direction and the earth’s eastbound rotation. When a plane travels from east to west it takes longer than if it was flying in the other direction.
By adding Shanghai to Etihad’s list of destinations, new options have been created for travelers from Europe and the USA. Also, it bolsters tourism in the UAE and especially to Abu Dhabi city. Near Abu Dhabi international airport there are a lot of tourist attractions such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and Saadyat Island.
Also it is expected to add value to the booming trade between Middle East and China which hit 190 billion USD in 2010 according to the Chinese commerce ministry.
Lastly, the newly opened route is expected to ease the traveling of Chinese employees in the UAE to their homeland. Many Chinese citizens work in one of the 2000 Chinese firms in the UAE. Most of these firms work in the booming construction field.
Earlier in 2004, the Dubai-based airline Emirates was the first UAE originated airline to operate direct flights to Shanghai. Right now, the Emirates airline has three weekly flights by Airbus A380, the biggest passenger plane in the world.