ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways celebrated the arrival of its new Airbus A350-1000 in the United States following the inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on 30th June.

The aircraft, which accommodates 371 passengers, is one of five new Airbus A350s to join Etihad's fleet this year.

From today, all Etihad flights servicing New York and Chicago O'Hare International Airport will be operated by the A350, joining Mumbai and Delhi routes that began flying in April this year.

Etihad passengers travelling to the US have access to Etihad's US pre-clearance, the only United States Customs and Border Protection facility in the Middle East. This allows passengers bound for the United States to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight, avoiding immigration and queues on arrival in the US.

"We are proud to bring the Airbus A350 into service in the US. This is an incredible aircraft with highly efficient fuel consumption and CO2 savings, enabling us to support our goals to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an unmatched flight experience for our guests," said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Cargo, Etihad Airways.

"By introducing the A350, we have almost doubled premium capacity on our New York and Chicago routes to 44 seats in the Business cabin, which provides a luxurious experience comparable to First Class on other international airlines."

Formed as a partnership between Etihad, Airbus and Rolls Royce in 2021, the Sustainable50 programme will use Etihad's A350s as flying testbeds for new initiatives, procedures and technologies to reduce carbon emissions. This will build on the learnings derived from Etihad's similar Greenliner programme for the Boeing 787 aircraft type.