This just in from Etihad Airways: The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will begin non-stop service to Chicago on September 2.
Chicago will be the Abu Dhabi-based airline's second U.S. destination. Etihad has operated daily service to New York (JFK) since October 2006.
The new service will increase Etihad's global flight network to 55 cities and follows confirmation that Etihad also will begin flights to Melbourne, Athens and Istanbul this year.
Chicago is the third largest market flying to the Middle East after New York and Washington, D.C. Illinois is home to one of the largest Arab-American communities in the U.S., with an estimated Arab American population of more than 230,000.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways' chief executive, said: "Starting flights to Chicago is a very proud moment in the history of Etihad Airways, and upholds our ambitious plans to link Abu Dhabi with key strategic cities around the world.
"The new service will enhance commercial and cultural ties not only between Abu Dhabi and Chicago but also between the UAE and USA, providing a daily flight for business and leisure travellers."
Etihad will operate three-cabin Airbus A340-500 aircraft configured to seat 240 passengers: 12 First, 28 Business and 200 Economy. The route will be served initially three times a week (Wed-Fri-Sun), and will increase to daily on October 1.
Etihad Airways flight EY151 will depart from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10.20 am and arrive at Chicago O'Hare Airport Terminal 5 at 4.40 pm. Return flight EY150 will depart from Chicago at 8.30 pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 8.55 pm the following day.