Etihad enters European airspace

Latest UAE airline begins flights to London, but eyes 16 destinations by year’s end.

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By  John Irish Published  March 28, 2004

Passengers travelling to and from the United Arab Emirates are set to have a further European option after Etihad Airways today (March 28) launched direct flights to London. Etihad Airways, the UAE’s fourth national carrier, began operations last November and currently flies from Abu Dhabi to Amman, Beirut, Colombo and Damascus with flights to Bangkok beginning on April 02. “It is fitting Etihad’s first flights into Europe are to London, as there is a longstanding trade relationship between the UK and the UAE,” said Dr Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, chairman of Etihad. “It is also an important step in the continuing economic development of the UAE and its capital Abu Dhabi.” Al Nayhan confirmed the airline was targeting 16 destinations by the end of the first year of operations including flights to Mumbai and New Delhi. Etihad will fly to London Heathrow five times a week on Thursday, Friday, twice on Saturday and Sunday, but aims to increase the service over the coming months. Ticket prices will also include a luxury coach pick up to and from Dubai and Al Ain. “Continuing links between both countries, as well as increased tourism traffic have made this route a natural choice,” said HE Richard Makepeace, British Ambassador to the UAE.

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