Etihad Airways has signed up as principal corporate partner of the not-for-profit Australia Gulf Council (AGC).
Etihad is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The two organisations announced the new partnership at the AGC Inaugural Annual Dinner held at Parliament House in Canberra.
AGC chief executive, Michael Yabsley, made the announcement before 65 guests who included special guest of honour and minister for trade, Craig Emerson.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer said: “As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, we take seriously our responsibility for fostering closer relations between Australia and the UAE.
“The establishment of a formal partnership with the Australia Gulf Council is a significant milestone in achieving this goal.
“We hope it will herald a new and exciting era of collaboration and increase opportunities for deeper diplomatic, business and cultural exchange.”
The airline will support the AGC’s missions to and from the Middle East, and help to build trade, economic and cultural ties between Australia and the GCC community.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke, Mark Vaile, and Michael Yabsley will lead a group of 15 AGC members on such a mission to Abu Dhabi, Doha and Muscat in December 2011.
Michael Yabsley said: “The AGC Etihad Corporate Partnership is a great outcome and we look forward to seeing it develop in a way that will add real value for both Etihad Airways and the AGC.
“James Hogan’s leadership and vision have ensured the beginning of a prosperous partnership between our two organisations.
“Partnerships such as these create friends and business opportunities and, in the words of Minister Emerson: ‘we do business where we have friends’.”