Etihad Airways has announced a number of schedule changes to the airline’s flights between Chicago, New York, Toronto and the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub, slated to start on Sunday, March 29.
The move aims to provide improved schedule options for U.S. and Canadian passengers traveling to the United Arab Emirates; enhance overall connectivity for flights to and from the Indian Subcontinent; and establish new connections to key markets such as Dhaka, Kathmandu, and Kolkata.
The new times also all connect with key Etihad Airways’ ISC destinations which include Colombo, Delhi, Karachi, Lahore, and Mumbai.
The daily EY151 flight to Chicago will move from a 9:30 a.m. departure to 3:40 a.m. and the three flights a week Toronto service, EY141, will depart at 2:50 a.m. rather than the current time 10:25 a.m.
Return flight EY150 from Chicago will arrive in Abu Dhabi at 12:20 p.m., and EY140 from Toronto will arrive at 12:05 p.m., which will allow for faster connection times through the hub at a non-peak period.
The new schedule will see the return flight from New York, EY102, depart JFK three hours later than it currently does to ensure its arrival in Abu Dhabi to meet the early afternoon bank of flights to the ISC.
In a statement, Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ chief strategy and planning officer, said that demand for travel between the Indian Subcontinent and North America is growing year-on-year. “The new schedule will create a more even balance of Etihad Airways’ flights to North America across the early morning and mid-morning banks. This will result in fewer passengers transiting through the hub at peak periods and will enhance the customer experience.”
Passengers on the retimed outbound Chicago flight will continue to be processed through United States Preclearance at Abu Dhabi International Airport, following the recent expansion of the facility’s hours of operation to include early morning flights to the U.S.
U.S. Preclearance allows passengers to pass through all required checks including U.S. customs, immigration and security while in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight, letting them avoid lines upon arrival in the U.S. and arrive as domestic passengers.
Passengers on all Etihad Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States, which also includes Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C. are processed through U.S. preclearance.
The schedule changes for Chicago and Toronto have been made in conjunction with Etihad Airways’ key partners, American Airlines and Air Canada in North America, and Jet Airways in India.
The partner airlines will implement new codeshare flights as well as re-accommodate guests who are affected by the new schedule.
Chicago, New York JFK (EY101 / EY102), and Toronto flight schedule from March 29, 2015: