Etihad secure additional Australia flights

Guest Writer

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has secured seven additional weekly flight frequencies from its Abu Dhabi home-base to Australia.

The additional flights were awarded following bilateral negotiations between the UAE and Australian Government in Canberra this week.

The seven flights can be operated to any gateway in Australia which includes Etihad’s current destinations of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

A further seven weekly flights have been granted to Etihad on the condition that the operation also flies via or onto a regional airport.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer, said: “The announcement that Etihad Airways has been granted up to 14 additional flights each week is an indication of the airline’s deepening bond with Australia.

“We are committed to this important market and look forward to carrying greater numbers of business and leisure travellers from destinations across Etihad’s expanding network to Australia.”

Etihad currently flies 21 times a week between Abu Dhabi and Australia. This includes 11 flights to Sydney, seven to Melbourne and three to Brisbane. The new flight slots will available from March 2011.

Following the announcement of the new agreement, Etihad has access to a total of 42 flights a week in to Australia, 35 direct to gateways and seven via or onto regional hubs.

Since launching its first flights to Sydney in 2007 Etihad has carried 787,000 passengers to and from Australia.

Etihad currently employs more than 80 members of staff in three cities in Australia and maintains seven premises, including a dedicated aircraft maintenance facility at Sydney International Airport.

Its partnership with Australia also includes many community initiatives that include substantial sponsorship and in-kind support of sporting, cultural, community and charitable organisations.

The airline also secured in 2009 a five-year naming rights deal for the 55,000 seater docklands stadium in Melbourne which is now recognised across the world as the Etihad Stadium.

Mr Hogan added: “Etihad’s presence in Australia continues to grow considerably. We are proud to have made significant investments in our work force and infrastructure in Australia as well as build strong ties with airports, airlines, tourism industry bodies and state governments.”

– Ends –

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