Etihad Airways has signed a code share agreement with SN Brussels Airlines, paving the way for the launch of its services to Brussels. Starting 31 October 2005, the National Airline of the UAE will operate three direct flights a week from Abu Dhabi to the Belgian capital, flying onward to Toronto.
The pact with SN Brussels - Etihad’s first global code share agreement - is expected to open a number of important destinations in Europe, besides significantly enhancing the link between the UAE and Europe and providing more opportunities for business and tourism. SN Brussels currently serves more than 90 destinations in Europe, the Americas and Africa.
“We are very confident that our relationship with SN Brussels will further enable us to deliver truly value-added services to our guests and we look forward to a long and successful partnership,” said Kevin Steele, Etihad’s Head of World Sales, “The opening of this new route is one of several steps currently being taken to expand our global presence and it demonstrates our ambitious international growth strategy. We are confident this new route and code share agreement will provide our guests with more flexibility and easier access to Benelux countries and Europe.”
“With the Belgian community in the UAE growing at a pace of 20% per annum, and an equally dynamic strengthening of business attention from Belgium for the Emirates, and vice versa, the establishment of a direct link between Belgium and Abu Dhabi in a co-operation between SN Brussels Airways and Etihad Airways is a very welcome development,” said H.E. Mr. Marc Van den Reeck, Belgian Ambassador to the UAE.
According to Philip Saunders, Executive Vice-President (Commercial) of SN Brussels Airlines, the code share relationship with Etihad “opens up new parts of the world for the customers of SN Brussels”. “It represents the fist service to the Gulf and to one of its most dynamic destinations. At the same time, we can also offer now non-stop services to Canada. By working together with Etihad Airways, we can provide our customers a superb in-flight service on both new routes.”
The Abu Dhabi-Brussels route also has significant importance for Etihad Crystal Cargo. Etihad Crystal Cargo already moves a significant amount of cargo from Eastern destinations such as India, Colombo and Thailand via Abu Dhabi to Belgium. At the moment the cargo - primarily equipment, spare parts, auto parts and tyres - is air-freighted from Abu Dhabi to London or Frankfurt and then transported via truck to Belgium where Etihad Crystal Cargo is represented by Platinum Air Belgium. The direct link from Abu Dhabi to Brussels and onwards to Canada will further boost Etihad Crystal Cargo’s global infrastructure and service network, providing more flexibility to logistics customers.
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