• Joe Breitfeller

Etihad Airways to Resume Service to Istanbul; Welcomes the Reopening of Abu Dhabi

The carrier will resume service between Abu Dhabi and Istanbul from January 17, 2021 and the route will be serviced with a two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Etihad Airways also welcomes the reopening of Abu Dhabi from December 24, 2020.


Etihad Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Courtesy Etihad Airways

On Tuesday (December 22, 2020), Etihad Airways announced that they will resume service between Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and Istanbul, Turkey from January 17, 2021. The route will be serviced with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner configured with Business and Economy Class cabins. Guests traveling on Etihad Airways’ flights will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test received within 96 hours of departure from Abu Dhabi, or their departure airport, if transferring from other cities via Abu Dhabi. In the UAE, Etihad customers can use a free testing service 48-96 hours before departure through Life Medical Diagnostic Center (Life Dx), while guests traveling in First or Business Class have the option of selecting at-home testing.


In Tuesday’s announcement, Etihad Airways Group’s Senior Vice President – Sales and Cargo, Martin Drew, said,


“As Etihad gradually returns more destinations to its global network, the airline is looking forward to the resumption of scheduled services to Istanbul. As the network continues to be built back up, Etihad ensures a secure and hygienic flying environment across the entire guest journey. Over the last few months, the airline has seized every opportunity to improve processes, including the introduction of free PCR testing for guests departing the UAE and free COVID-19 insurance for all passengers globally.”


In a separate announcement on Wednesday (December 23, 2020), Etihad Airways welcomed the announcement by the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee that effective December 24, 2020, entry restrictions to Abu Dhabi will be eased. International tourists, residents and travelers flying with Etihad Airways from select destinations will now be allowed to enter the emirate without the need to self-isolate for 14 days. In Wednesday’s announcement, Etihad Aviation Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Douglas, said,


“With Abu Dhabi at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19, the approach to managing the pandemic has positioned the capital as one of the safest cities in the world to visit. The gradual reopening of our border cements the rigorous health and safety measures we have implemented across the airline. We can proudly say Etihad has played its part, by positioning ourselves as an industry leader, ensuring guests travelling with us do so with complete peace of mind. As we approach the winter break and get ready to mark the end of a challenging year, the time to welcome the world to Abu Dhabi is now. We are tremendously grateful for the ongoing support of the Abu Dhabi authorities and will continue to work closely with them to ensure the highest level of safety measures are maintained.”


Upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, all visitors will undergo thermal screening and COVID-19 PCR testing. Passengers arriving from select ‘green’ countries who test negative will be exempt from quarantine or the need to wear a medical wristband. Visitors staying over six days must conduct another PCR test on day six and then again on day 12 for longer visits. Tests are available in the UAE starting from AED 85. UAE residents who have participated in vaccination trials or the National Vaccination Program are also exempt from quarantine in Abu Dhabi. Visitors from other destinations will be required to follow quarantine guidelines, which have been reduced to 10 days.


Guests flying to, from and via Abu Dhabi will experience the airline’s comprehensive ‘Etihad Wellness’ sanitization and safety program, with the highest international hygiene standards at every step of the journey. The program also provides complimentary COVID-19 insurance for customers. Etihad is the first airline to deploy specially trained ‘Wellness Ambassadors’ who provide essential travel health information and care both on the ground and onboard so guests can fly with greater confidence and peace of mind. Additionally, Etihad is the only airline in the world requiring 100% of their passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test before departure as well as on arrival in Abu Dhabi.



Source: Etihad Airways