Etihad is increasing service from JFK to Abu Dhabi and betting on the success of making it easier for U.S.-based passengers to fly in for this year’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The new flights launch November 15, ahead of the F1 events that begin three days later, and will bring to 11 the total number of weekly nonstop flights that connect the emirate to the New York gateway.
The four new flights will be operated on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, with the balance of Etihad’s flights from New York operated on Etihad’s new Airbus A350 aircraft that launched in June. Both models are considered two of the most efficient in the industry, with less fuel burn and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions over previous-generation twin-aisle aircraft.
The enhanced choices improve U.S. access to the airline’s network, which is particularly strong in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. For business travelers, an established codeshare partnership with JetBlue adds to the benefits for using Etihad as an outbound connector from New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
In addition, U.S.-bound passengers from Abu Dhabi gain the convenience of using Etihad’s U.S. pre-clearance facility, currently the only U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in the Middle East. They can process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections before they board their flight and bypass lines on arrival in the U.S.
The new flights depart JFK at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 11:30 a.m. Return flights leave at 3:55 a.m. and arrive in New York the same day at 9:45 a.m.
The timing ahead of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is sharp. The tickets for this year’s race, from November 18 to 20, have been selling out along premium tiers. The event is as popular for its after-race parties and concerts as it is for the competition, bringing in such A-listers as Beyoncé and Aerosmith. Among the headliners for 2022 are Swedish House Mafia and Kendrick Lamar.