Etihad Airways has launched twice-weekly flights between its home base of Abu Dhabi and Minsk, Belarus.The new air link is anticipated to boost significantly trade and investment ties between the UAE and Belarus with the volume of trade between the two countries standing at more than Dhs110-150 million per year.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said, “To make history as the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus is a great honour for Etihad Airways. We are extremely excited to help to strengthen further the trade ties between the two countries through the launch of our new Minsk service.”
Minsk is the largest city in Belarus, with a population of 1.8 million people and is the country’s major industrial centre with more than 250 factories and manufacturing plants. With a central location in the heart of Europe, a rich cultural heritage and stunning scenery, Belarus is also seeking to exploit its strong tourism potential.
It is the third new destination to be launched by Etihad this month. On Friday 1 August the airline added to its flying programme to India when it launched daily flights from Abu Dhabi to both Chennai (Madras) and Kozhikode (Calicut).
Minsk brings the total number of global destinations now served by Etihad to 48, a number which will rise to 50 by the end of 2008 with the launch of new services to Moscow in Russia and Almaty in Kazhakstan.
Etihad operates one of its new Airbus A319 aircraft on the twice-weekly Minsk service, configured to carry 104 passengers with 20 in business class and 84 in economy class. The service operates every Tuesday and Thursday. A third weekly flight will be added every Saturday from October 2008.
Flight EY061 departs Abu Dhabi on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.45am, arriving in Minsk at 2.25pm the same day. The return flight, EY062, departs Minsk on the same days at 3.15pm, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 9.40pm.