Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Etihad to fly Istanbul from June

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will fly to Istanbul in Turkey from June.

The commercial capital of Turkey will initially be served four times a week from June 2, expanding to five flights a week from October, said an Etihad statement.

The addition of Istanbul will bring to 13 the number of European cities served by Etihad. The new destination will increase the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s global flight network to 54 cities and follows confirmation that Etihad will also begin flights to Melbourne and Athens during 2009.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Istanbul represents our second confirmed new European destination to be launched in 2009 and demonstrates the increasing importance of this market to our airline.”

There are an estimated 6,000 Turkish expatriates currently living and working in the UAE, mainly in the construction, engineering, financial and tourism sectors.

The volume of trade between the UAE and Turkey grew by 400 per cent from $700 million in 2002 to $3.7 billion in 2007. The UAE currently has investments of more than $4 billion in Turkey, while Turkey has committed $40 billion in investments to the UAE within the next four years.

Etihad will operate a two-class Airbus A320 to Istanbul, configured to carry 140 passengers with 20 seats in business class and 120 in economy class. – TradeArabia News Service