Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, this week celebrates two major milestones in Australia – the anniversary of Etihad’s Australian services, and the inaugural V Australia flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, operated by Etihad alliance partner, the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines.
Key highlights of the Australia visit included a bankers’ roadshow, showcasing Etihad’s financial credentials to Sydney’s banking community, meetings with the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Ted Baillieu MP; Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business and Minister for Tourism and Major Events the Hon Louise Asher; and Minister responsible for Aviation the Hon Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC; and cocktail events in Melbourne and Sydney.
Last night, at Etihad Stadium – Melbourne’s premier sports and entertainment venue – the airline commemorated Etihad’s second year of service from Abu Dhabi to the Victorian capital. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, hosted more than 350 representatives from government, travel industry and media.
Hometown girl, international superstar and Etihad brand ambassador Ms Dannii Minogue added a touch of celebrity and glamour to the event.
Etihad tonight will co-host an event with alliance partner Virgin Blue at the world-famous Sydney Opera House for 300 VIP guests, including the UAE Ambassador to Australia His Excellency Ali Nasser Al Nuaimi and the Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Mr Doug Trappett, to mark the commencement of V Australia flights to Abu Dhabi.
James Hogan will be among VIP guests on board the V Australia flight, which departs Sydney at 4:06pm AEDST on Thursday, February 24.
The flight, operated by a V Australia Boeing 777 aircraft, will mark the first time since 1991 that an Australian airline has operated services to the Middle East in its own right.
V Australia will fly three times weekly between Sydney and Abu Dhabi, bringing to 24 the total number of flights operated by the two airlines between Australia and Abu Dhabi.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “The week long program of events in Australia highlights the importance of the Australian market to our business and our deep commitment to it.
“Tomorrow’s joint service from Sydney to Abu Dhabi with Virgin Blue’s international arm V Australia marks the beginning of an exciting new era of cooperation for Etihad and Virgin Blue and opens up a new world of choice for travelers on our combined global network of more than 100 destinations.”