Etihad Airways will add a third daily service between Heathrow and its hub at Abu Dhabi from October.

The flight will offer additional connections to Etihad’s growing network, which includes Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney.

Etihad has leased the take-off and landing slots for the service at Heathrow from Luxair at a cost of £9 million for five years. The airline is seeking further slots with a view to expanding to five flights a day.

Luxembourg carrier Luxair is now expected to withdraw from Heathrow and concentrate its operations at London City, with the deal including an option for Etihad to buy the slots. Competition for slots at Heathrow is intense as the airport operates at full capacity.

Etihad also operates a daily service from Manchester to Abu Dhabi.