Etihad Airways’ first flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha takes off tonight, marking the start of a six-flights-a-week schedule between two of the region’s leading business cities. The UAE national airline is operating a three-zone Boeing B767-300 on the route, with flights every day of the week except Tuesday.
Outbound, Etihad flight EY705 will depart Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) at 21.30 and arrive at Doha International Airport at 21.30 local time. Return flights on EY706 depart Doha at 22.30, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 00.30.
HH Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan, chairman of Etihad Airways, said:
“Doha is not only one of the premier business cities in the region but also a rapidly developing leisure destination. The convenience of our schedules means that our Guests can do a full day’s work in their resident countries, take one of the night flights and be fresh for business the next morning.”
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.
The new service links up two of the energy powerhouses in the region and provides further evidence of Eithad’s growing GCC and global network.
‘With such a strong network across the Arabian Gulf, Etihad is quickly establishing itself as the key carrier in the region. Guests can travel quickly and easily between the leading business hubs of Abu Dhabi and Doha,’ said Raymond Korban, regional general manager, UAE and Oman, Etihad Airways.
Among the major Qatari projects underway is a $2 billion expansion of Doha International Airport to the east of the existing airport, which will see annual passenger capacity raised to 12 million on completion in 2015.
The terminal will have 24 contact gates, which are capable of accommodating up to six A380-800 aircraft, as well as three premium hotels.
The State of Qatar has $15 billion earmarked for the development of tourism, hospitality projects and sport events.
Star attraction will be the Pearl-Qatar - an upmarket Riviera-style offshore island being constructed off Doha - which is set to propel the country’s leisure credentials worldwide. The island will house up to 40,000 residents and first investors take up residency next year.
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.
The Asian Games provides a new dimension to a country which is already known for hosting leading international tennis, water sports and golfing events.
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