The inaugural flight of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has taken off for the Netherlands’ capital, Amsterdam.
Flight EY77, carrying the KL code of Dutch national carrier, KLM, departed Abu Dhabi airport on schedule at 9.30am local time today, Wednesday 15 May.
The launch of the service is another important development in the strategic partnership between Etihad Airways and KLM. First announced in October 2012, the partnership involves the two airlines codesharing on multiple routes across each other’s networks.
The new daily service between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam complements KLM’s flights on that route, which carries Etihad Airways’ EY code, ensuring the two airlines will offer a combined double daily service from the summer.
The Etihad Airways A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 262 passengers, 22 in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class, will be greeted with a ceremonial water cannon salute by Dutch fire engines as it taxis to the gate at Schiphol.
Disembarking passengers will also be presented with wooden tulips as a gift from Schiphol Airport to mark the historic flight.
Amsterdam joins a group of 17 leading European cities that Etihad Airways flies to including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris.