Flight EY 23 touched down on schedule at the North Rhine Westphalia earlier, greeted by a traditional water cannon salute on arrival.
The airline will initially operate four weekly return services to Düsseldorf, rising to a daily operation already in April 2012.
The route is being served by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, in a three-class configuration, offering eight Diamond First Class suites, 32 seats in Pearl Business class and 191 seats in Coral Economy class.
Forward bookings for the route are strong, both outbound and inbound from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi through to key destinations in Australasia and the Indian subcontinent, the airline said in a statement earlier.
Speaking in Düsseldorf, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, Peter Baumgartner said: “Germany is a strategically important market for Etihad Airways.
“We have carried more than 1.7 million passengers to and from Germany since we started flights to Munich back in 2004, and now we operate 25 weekly services to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.
“Düsseldorf was a logical step in growing our European passenger operations.
“By growing direct point to point traffic between the two cities, we also look forward to strengthening business and leisure ties between the capital of the UAE and Germany.”
Congratulating Etihad Airways and Düsseldorf Airport on the launch of services from the UAE capital to Düsseldorf, His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmood, UAE Ambassador to Germany said: “Etihad Airways’ new route to Düsseldorf will enhance industrial relations and promote economic cooperation, trade and tourism between the UAE and Germany.
“This development is part of the Abu Dhabi government’s keenness to develop good relations with Germany in various fields, vital for the implementation of the Abu Dhabi 2030 strategy.”
Etihad Airways is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the prestigious World Travel Awards.