Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi-DFW service begins

Although it was about an hour late, the first flight connecting Abu Dhabi and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport arrived Wednesday.

Etihad Airways launched nonstop service between the United Arab Emirates and North Texas. It will have three flights a week until the spring, when it will increase to daily service.

Etihad is using a Boeing 777-200LR on the route, with eight first-class seats, 40 business-class seats and 177 economy seats. Passengers will not have to enter through U.S. customs as they pass through a pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi. If they have a domestic connecting flight at DFW, they can head straight to their connecting gate and their bags will be checked through to the next flight.

By adding Etihad, DFW becomes one of only four U.S. airports to have all three Persian Gulf carriers operating flights to the Middle East. Qatar Airways and Emirates have daily flights to Doha and Dubai, respectively. This fall, Emirates increased its capacity on the Dubai route with the use of a double-decker Airbus A380.