Etihad Airways will start flights to Phuket in the latter half of this year, as part of its business goal to further grow the number of destinations and passengers.
Expected to start in October, the daily flights to Phuket will target United Arab Emirates residents and holidaying Europeans.
The airline now flies to 98 destinations worldwide and the number is planned to rise to 103 by the end of this year. Yerevan flights were launched this month and Rome, Perth, Phuket and Dallas to follow over the remainder of 2014.
A number of 6.7 million passengers flew with the airline in the first half of this year, as it saw a boost in revenue both from passenger and cargo services.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates reported double-digit growth in passenger and cargo volumes during the first half of 2014, marking its strongest ever performance for the six-month period, with total revenues increasing to US$3.2 billion.
While the number of passengers rose by 22 per cent from 5.5 million in the same period last year, the cargo business carried 268,713 tonnes of freight and mail which was up 25 per cent year-on-year.
“At a time when the global airline industry has struggled with high fuel prices, intense competition and a slowdown in the cargo market, Etihad Airways has achieved record success, carrying more passengers and cargo to more destinations around the world, with our biggest fleet to date," said James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways.
An additional six aircraft will be received in the second half of 2014, including its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787, which commence operations in December and will feature brand new first, business and economy class products.