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A second daily non-stop service between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne is being introduced from tomorrow (Saturday) by Etihad Airways.

A three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be deployed on the route with eight seats in first class, 40 in business class and 280 in economy. It complements the airline’s existing daily non-stop B777 Melbourne flight.

The carrier will be able to offer one-stop connectivity between Melbourne and destinations such as Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Dublin.

Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive, James Hogan, said: “Becoming the only airline to offer double daily non-stop flights between Melbourne and the UAE clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Victoria and exponentially increases the attractiveness of our customer proposition.

“From August 1 we will connect more international visitors to Melbourne from more markets in the Middle East and Europe and will offer Melbournians the convenience of two daily departures and one-stop connectivity to more than 50 great destinations.”

The new double-daily schedule for Melbourne raises the total number of non-stop weekly return flights the airline operates between its four Australian gateways to 39.

Etihad flies daily from Brisbane and Perth and offers double daily flights from Sydney – 11 of which are operated by Etihad Airways and three which are flown by partner Virgin Australia.

Etihad also codeshares on Virgin Australia flights to 44 destinations across Australia and six i