Etihad Airways’ first flight to Doha touches down next Sunday evening (18 June), marking the start of six-flights-a-week services between Abu Dhabi and the Qatari capital.
The UAE’s national airline’s three-zone Boeing B767-300 aircraft will be a common sight on the Doha International Airport runway, with the service operating every day of the week except Tuesday.
‘We are delighted to start services to Doha next week,’ said HH Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan, chairman of Etihad Airways. ‘Abu Dhabi and Doha are premier business cities in the region and rapidly developing into key leisure destinations too. The new service will drive growth in both sectors.’
The aircraft, which will accommodate 196 Guests with 10 seats in Diamond, 36 in Pearl and 150 in Coral zones, can also hold up to 12 tonnes of cargo with a full passenger load.
Outbound, Etihad flight EY705 will depart Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) at 21.30pm and arrive at Doha International Airport at 21.30pm local time. Return flights on EY706 depart Doha at 22.30pm, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 00.30am.
The new service links up two of the energy powerhouses in the region and provides further economic impetus to both development-focused cities.
‘This service will quickly become one of the most popular ‘shuttles’ in the Gulf,’ said Ian Lovelock, regional general manager Middle East and North Africa, Etihad Airways. ‘The convenience of this schedule means that our Guests can do a full day’s work in their resident countries, take one of the night flights to either city and be fresh for business the next morning.’
The State of Qatar has $15 billion earmarked for the development of tourism, hospitality projects and sport events.
Qatar’s five-star hotel scene is also experiencing rapid growth in the run-up to the 15th Asian Games in December. Eight four and five-star hotels are scheduled to open by the middle of 2006, including a host of well-known international chains.
Hussam Al Aseeri, Etihad’s General Manager for the Northern Gulf, said: ‘These are exciting times for Qatar and everybody is watching the country’s development closely. The arrival of the world’s leading new airline will undoubtedly further raise the country’s profile.’
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