The new service, scheduled to begin on March 1 2012, will make Shanghai Etihad Airways' 70th global destination.

Etihad Airways is planning to expand its network in China with daily non-stop services between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, subject to government approval.

The new service, scheduled to begin on March 1 2012, will make Shanghai Etihad Airways’ 70th global destination. The carrier will operate an Airbus A330-200 on the Abu Dhabi-Shanghai route, configured in Pearl Business and Coral Economy class.

Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer James Hogan announced the new service on July 6 in an address to 300 representatives of the global aviation industry who are attending the Aviation Outlook China Summit in Shanghai this week.

Etihad Airways' long-haul fleet includes 16 Airbus A330-200s, as well as other Airbus and Boeing types. Etihad operates A330-200s on many routes, including its planned new services linking Abu Dhabi with Chengdu and Shanghai

“Shanghai , the most populous city in mainland China, is a strategically important addition to Etihad’s China network. Together with our daily flights to the capital Beijing, the Shanghai route will offer travelers competitive access to the two biggest centers for commerce, trade, government, culture, and tourism in China,” said Hogan.

“Through Etihad’s efficient Crystal Cargo operation, we also intend to pursue growth of the valuable export trade for high tech and other commodities,” Hogan added.

Etihad’s July 6 Shanghai announcement followed the announcement by the Abu Dhabi carrier a day earlier of a planned new service to Chengdu in Sichuan province.

“The commencement of services to Chengdu and Shanghai and this week’s increase in frequency to Beijing are major investments of aircraft and commercial resources into China,” said Hogan. “It reflects our confidence in the current strength and future potential of the inbound and outbound travel markets.”