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Etihad Airways to Fly from Abu Dhabi to New York

There’s a quiet revolution in the airline industry taking place in the Middle East, and it’s just now starting to hit the US.  Etihad Airways (which, if you live in the US and don’t care about this stuff you’ve probably never heard of) will launch nonstop service from New York to Abu Dhabi starting in October.  Three Middle East-based airlines are growing by leaps and bounds and putting a ton of pressure on the established European and Asian carriers. 

Etihad has come out of nowhere to build a formidable route network out of Abu Dhabi.  It serves 40 cities since launching in late 2003, and will have 70 cities by 2010.  Impressive, yes?  The Emirates story has been told a bunch of times, but they’re profitable (possibly with the help of government aid…but who knows?)  And Qatar Airways, once a regional player, continues to expand at a rapid pace, including an order for 20 Boeing 777s they placed this week. 

Lots of stories have been written about the boon in Indian airlines, but the story out of the Middle East is even more impressive, with these 3 airlines changing the face of aviation.  Someone less lazy than me will write it some day…

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