Etihad Airways has launched its maiden flight to Manchester - the regional capital of the north west of England. Etihad’s new purpose-built A330-200 aircraft is scheduled to took off in the early hours of Monday morning, with EY 313 departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 02:10.
“Demand for air travel between the north of England and the UAE is growing year-on-year, and Etihad Airways is delighted to be commencing this daily service between Abu Dhabi and Manchester. Manchester is an immensely popular destination with a famous commercial, cultural, and of course, sporting history,”
said Raymond Korban, regional general manager UAE and Oman, Etihad Airways.
To celebrate the launch of the new route to Manchester, the home of Manchester United Football Club - one of the world’s most popular football teams, - Etihad has chosen the football corner flag as the main theme behind the communications promoting this new route.
To reinforce this creative approach, the airline has placed 5,000 football corner flags along all major roads throughout Abu Dhabi and rolled out a comprehensive advertising programme with the corner flag image.
“The city of Manchester and Etihad Airways are both closely associated with the world of sport. Manchester is home to two premiership football clubs and the world famous Old Trafford cricket ground, and Etihad Airways is leading the field through its sponsorship of innovative events including the Brazil - UAE football match in November 2005, the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championships early this year, and the 2007 Gulf Cup football tournament,” continued Korban.
Manchester is the UK’s largest economic region outside London, and will be Etihad Airways’ third UK destination after its current services to London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
“The new Abu Dhabi to Manchester route will have a significant impact on trade ties between the UK and UAE. The daily Etihad Airways flight will enable greater opportunities for investment across the established industries of construction and engineering, as well as promoting newer lucrative sectors such as tourism,’ said Robert Deane, British Commercial Attaché to the UAE.
The new Etihad route will serve many of the 650,000 Britons who visit the United Arab Emirates each year, in addition to the estimated 95,000 British citizens living in the UAE.
Manchester is one of the UK’s busiest airports, handling over 22 million passengers a year, and providing access to many of the north-west’s major areas of interest including Blackpool, Chester and the Lake District, along with other cities such as Liverpool.
The two aisle A330-200 aircraft is configured to carry a total capacity of 262 Guests, 240 in the Coral Zone and 22 in the Pearl Zone. It is one of 29 new aircraft which will service the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s rapidly expanding network of destinations.
The A330-200 will also considerably boost the cargo capacity into the UK market by adding 14 tons of cargo space per flight.
Platinum Air Cargo (UK) Ltd, Etihad Crystal Cargo’s UK and Ireland General Sales and Service Agents (GSSA), which is already successfully running the cargo business for Etihad in London Heathrow and Gatwick, will be opening a brand new Manchester office to market the new flights.
Etihad Airways now offers flights to 30 destinations which include Brussels, Casablanca, Dhaka, Jakarta, Manila, Paris and Toronto, and aims to fly to 70 global destinations by 2010.
Etihad will fly daily to Manchester, with EY 313 departing from Abu Dhabi (AUH) at 02:10, and arriving at Manchester (MAN) at 06:45 local time. The return flight EY 314 will then depart from Manchester at 09:40 arriving in Abu Dhabi at 20:00.
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