Etihad Airways has launched its inaugural flight to Australia’s commercial capital, Sydney with flight EY450 taking off on schedule from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10.10am.
A high level ceremony to mark the new route was held prior to departure and attended by Etihad’s chief executive, James Hogan and the Australian Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency, Mr Jeremy Bruer.
Etihad will operate one of its purpose-built A340-500 aircraft which is configured to carry 240 passengers, with 12 in diamond zone (first class), 28 in pearl (business) and 200 in coral (economy).
Mr Hogan, said: “This is one of our most exciting launches to-date, because Sydney is one of the world’s most iconic and strategic destinations. Our customers can now fly between Europe and Australia, via Abu Dhabi whilst enjoying our state-of-the-art in-flight product.”
On arrival at Kingsford Smith airport in Sydney, the VIP delegation and passengers onboard the flight will be greeted by a special performance by Aboriginal dancers and music from the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
Etihad will also be hosting a cocktail reception at the prestigious ‘Wildfire’ venue, which overlooks Sydney’s world famous harbour, with unique “Abu Dhabi meets Australia” themed cuisine and entertainment.
Further events including a VIP dinner will be held during the week to celebrate the new route.
Sydney is Etihad’s first Australian destination and will provide a very popular service for Australian nationals travelling on holiday or business to the Middle East and Europe.
Mr Hogan added: “By starting this new frequent service to Sydney, which will soon become daily, Etihad will be able to fulfil the terrific demand there is on this sector. In due course we will also look to build our flight frequency to Australia.”
From 26 March, Etihad flight EY450 will initially operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday departing Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10.10am, arriving Sydney International Airport at 6.15am the following day.
The return service EY451 departs Sydney each Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 3.20pm, arriving Abu Dhabi 00:10am, the following day. All times are local.
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