Etihad opens doors to North Africa

Etihad Airways’ recently launched route between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca is acting as a gateway to other North African destinations, the airline’s country manager in Morocco has revealed.

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By  Joseph Mortimer Published  September 4, 2006

Etihad Airways’ recently launched route between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca is acting as a gateway to other North African destinations, the airline’s country manager in Morocco has revealed. “We are hoping to operate as a feeder to other countries close to Morocco like Mauritania and Senegal,” said Abbas Al-Ali, manager, Kingdom of Morocco. “We are planning to attack that market so that Morocco will be like an open door for North Africa.” Since Etihad launched the route in June, the carrier has increased the frequency from three to four weekly flights, and plans to go daily in time for next summer. According to Al-Ali, four major categories of Moroccans are flying to Abu Dhabi: summer holidaymakers; Hajj and Umrah travellers; business travellers visiting trade fairs, and people visiting friends and family in other countries year-round. The latter tend to spend short durations in the Gulf, on the Indian subcontinent, or in the Far East he said. “After the high season there will be business movement in October; to Hong Kong, Bangkok and so on. Then we have the season in September for Haj and Umrah, which is very huge from Morocco; the second biggest market after Cairo, in fact,” he added. Etihad flights to Casablanca fly from Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 02.20, arriving in Morocco at 07.00, local time. The return flight leaves Casablanca at 08.50, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 20.30.

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