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Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, operates flights from Heathrow, Manchester and Dublin to Abu Dhabi, and onwards to key destinations in Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

Etihad launched its extensive Etihad Wellness travel programme in June 2020, which builds on the stringent measures Etihad already had in place and is championed by a team of dedicated Wellness Ambassadors.


The Wellness Ambassadors are specially trained crew members and airport staff who are on hand to answer any questions travellers may have. They also ensure wellness measures are adhered to, providing greater peace of mind for our passengers.

Etihad has also launched global Covid-19 wellness insurance, which is included with every airline ticket for passengers travelling up to March 31, 2022. More information can be found here.

The airline has also become one of the first airlines globally to partner with IATA Travel Pass for Etihad guests. It will allow travellers to use the mobile app to easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines.

Can you fly with Etihad Airways?

Etihad flies three times a day from Heathrow and once a day from Manchester direct to Abu Dhabi.

Etihad strives to maintain its high levels of onboard service in two cabins – its acclaimed Business Class and Economy cabins, fitted with ergonomic ‘smart seats’. All guests on board will receive wellness kits, while premium passengers will be given a snood-style face mask for use throughout their journey and beyond. The soft, reusable snood has been treated with a MicrobeBarrier fabric treatment, which reduces the presence of germs. 

Etihad increased its worldwide flights to half its pre-Covid-19 capacity and since October 2020, has been operating to more than 60 destinations worldwide.

Fully vaccinated visitors can enter Abu Dhabi without having to quarantine, and all travellers must complete a Register Arrivals Form and upload proof of vaccination there. The form must be completed 48 hours before travelling to Abu Dhabi, and more information can be found here.

Visitors must take a PCR test 48 hours before arriving in Abu Dhabi, and will also need to take another one when they land, and the result will be processed within 90 minutes. Those under the age of 12 are exempt from testing. The negative result will give the traveller ‘green’ status which can then be used to enter public places in Abu Dhabi. Travellers from the UK will also need to take another PCR test on day six.

Unvaccinated travellers need to follow the same requirements as vaccinated travellers but must undergo quarantine measures.

Etihad released a new safety video in March, filmed at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

How often is Etihad Airways operating flights?

Etihad operates three daily flights from Heathrow as well as daily flights from Manchester.

What do passengers need to do before they fly with Etihad Airways?

It is mandatory for guests to have a Covid-19 PCR test before they fly with Etihad Airways. Guests will only be permitted to fly if they have a negative test result.

Tests must be carried out a maximum of 72 hours before the flight’s departure time at any government-accredited medical facility.


A copy of the negative test result must be carried throughout the entire trip and needs to be presented for validation at the airport. Children under 12 and people with moderate and severe disabilities are exempt from Covid-19 PCR testing.

To find approved clinics and information about PCR testing, click here.

What safety measures are in place for passengers flying with Etihad Airways?

Etihad’s wellness initiatives will be communicated through an easy-to-use online guide, highlighting the high standards of cleanliness, with health and hygiene being applied at every stage of the customer journey.

This includes culinary hygiene at the airline’s catering facilities and food testing laboratory, aircraft cabin deep cleaning, as well as measures in place for check-in, health screening, boarding, inflight experience, crew interaction, arrival, and ground transport. Comprehensive information on these travel health and hygiene measures is available here.

These measures are being championed by specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who provide essential travel health information and care so guests can fly with greater peace of mind.

For those needing more specific and personalised information, skilled Wellness Ambassadors can be contacted 24/7 through a live web chat. This dedicated multilingual team will offer reassurance to customers by sharing advice on travel wellbeing and details of the health and sanitisation measures being implemented throughout their journey. All Wellness Ambassadors undergo special training at our facilities in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad has also introduced Wellness Ambassadors at Abu Dhabi International Airport, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports, to ensure the same levels of care and support are provided at every point of the customer journey from check-in to boarding.

As Etihad resumes an expanded network of international flights, it has also introduced Wellness Ambassadors on board every flight, complementing the roles performed by other cabin crew, and providing an enhanced level of customer care focused on health and wellness in flight.

Global Covid-19 wellness insurance is included with every Etihad Airways ticket, for those travelling until March 31, 2022. More information can be found here.

In January 2021, Etihad was awarded diamond status for ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitisation by ‘APEX Health Safety, powered by SimpliFlying’ audit. In February, Etihad announced it was the first airline in the world to have 100% of its operating crew vaccinated, keeping its employees and travellers safe at all times.

What other safety measures are in place for passengers throughout their journey?

Our maximum connecting time at Abu Dhabi airport is now six hours.

For all airport areas not in the control of Etihad Airways, such as airport security screening areas, duty free shopping zones, food outlets, baggage claims and taxi ranks, we recommend that each passenger adheres to the global health authority directives and guidelines.

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Catch up on Travel Weekly’s webinar, in association with Etihad Airways, to get the latest updates from the airline and from Abu Dhabi.

Last updated January 7, 2022

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