The development of political, economic, cultural and tourism bonds between the UAE and Turkey will be further enhanced with the launch of Etihad Airways’ new flights to Istanbul from Monday 1 June.Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s award-winning airline and the national carrier of the UAE, will launch its four times a week service to Istanbul at a time when trade relations between the two countries is at its strongest and is set to grow significantly as a result of the important new link.
Turkey is one of the UAE’s largest trade partners, with USD $9 billion in annual bilateral trade volume generating strong economic relations and sound business opportunities for both countries.
Last year saw foreign trade figures reveal Turkey as one of the UAE’s top 10 biggest suppliers, while over the past five years (2004-2008) the UAE’s exports to Turkey have increased six-fold.
“An unprecedented growth has been witnessed in the bilateral trade between the UAE and Turkey, particularly in the past couple of years,” said Turkish Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Hakki Akil.
“Expansion of bilateral trade volume between the UAE and Turkey has increased ten-fold since 2003 and is a striking indicator of the strength in mutual dialogue between our two countries.
“Etihad Airways’ launch into our bustling city of Istanbul will open up even more business and tourism opportunities and we are very excited by this prospect.”
Turkish companies are also accelerating their efforts to enter the UAE market and forge strong connections with partners across a range of industries and sectors, including defence naval ship building, real estate, yacht building and building materials.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “The launch of our new service to Istanbul brings many benefits for both countries and will continue to strengthen the trade and tourism links to an even higher level.
“Abu Dhabi and Istanbul share a common bond in that they are two proud and historic cities with ambitious plans to continue sustainable growth, mutual understanding and respect.”
According to the Turkish embassy, the number of Turkish companies established in the UAE is over 400, with 75 of those companies successfully operating in Abu Dhabi.
Tourism between the two countries will also receive a considerable boost as a result of the new Etihad services, with both countries offering common cultural values and appealing tourist attractions.
The new route will not only be welcomed by the 6,000 Turkish expatriates currently living and working in the UAE, but will also provide convenient onward connections to some of the well-established Turkish communities served by Etihad’s global network - in particular, Sydney and Melbourne.
Etihad will operate a two-class Airbus A320 to Istanbul, configured to carry 140 passengers with 20 seats in business class and 120 in economy class.