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Published on Monday, January 29, 2007

Etihad formally launches new direct service between Abu Dhabi and Sydney

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced formally today that it would start direct flights between Sydney and Abu Dhabi in March of this year.  

The three times a week service will be flown by a three-class Airbus A340-500 aircraft, with the first flight leaving Abu Dhabi on 26 March 2007, arriving in Sydney the following day at 6:15am.

Etihad also announced that flight frequency on the route will increase to a daily operation from 29 June 2007.

Aussie, James Hogan, Etihad Airways' CEO said: "I am proud that Etihad is the newest overseas based airline to be granted rights to fly into Australia and we look forward to playing a key role in further developing the growth of commerce and tourism between Australia and the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi and the Gulf region more generally".

"As well, through our Abu Dhabi base, we will provide Australian business and leisure travellers with one-stop access to the Middle East region, as well as key international cities across Europe."

He added, "Australia is a key destination in our expansion plans for the airline and we very much look forward to establishing and building our presence in this country".

Etihad currently serves 47 destinations from Abu Dhabi, with its network of destinations continuing to grow rapidly.  

The Ambassador of the UAE to Australia, Dr Saeed Mohammed Al-Shamsi said, "I welcome the commencement of direct flights between Australia and Abu Dhabi".  "This will undoubtedly serve to further strengthen the growing trade, tourism and cultural ties between Australia and the United Arab Emirates."

Sydney is Etihad's fifth destination in the Asia-Pacific region joining Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta.

Flight Information:  From 26 March, Etihad EY450 will initially operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday departing Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10.10am, arriving Sydney International Airport 6.15am the following day.  The return service, EY451 will depart Sydney on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 3.20pm, arriving Abu Dhabi at 0.10am.

The Airbus A340-500 aircraft serving the route will be configured in three classes of travel; 12 seats in Diamond, 28 seats in Pearl and 200 seats in Coral.

Report by The Mole

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