Etihad Airways and airBaltic, Latvia’s flag carrier, have announced that direct Riga-Abu Dhabi flights will commence on December 16th, 2013.
The announcement follows the signing of a codeshare agreement between the two airlines.
Subject to regulatory approvals, airBaltic will operate the new four weekly return flights using a 116 seat Airbus A319 aircraft.
With seating capacity for 14 business class and 102 economy class passengers, the flights will operate on a split schedule, ensuring optimal connectivity over each airline’s respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Riga.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president said: “The trade, cultural and leisure ties between the UAE and Latvia have never been stronger and this new direct flight marks the start of our codeshare partnership with airBaltic and the linking of the capital cities of both countries by air for the very first time.
“It is also the first time we are able to offer Riga as an Etihad Airways codeshare destination.
“The new route will be of huge benefit to Latvian travellers visiting Abu Dhabi for business or leisure, in addition to offering seamless connections over our hub to destinations across the globe.
“In tandem, it will allow Etihad Airways to offer destinations flown by airBaltic beyond its Riga hub, particularly in northern and eastern Europe.”
The UAE is one of Latvia’s main trading partners in the Gulf region.
Latvia’s exports in 2012 to the UAE reached EUR72 million, 102 per cent up on 2011.
Etihad Airways will place its ‘EY’ flight code on the new Riga flights, and subject to government approvals, beyond to 19 cities including: Billund, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Turku, Hamburg, Alesund, Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger, Vilnius, Warsaw, Stockholm, Kiev, Vienna, Prague, Barcelona and Istanbul.
In return, airBaltic will place its ‘BT’ flight code on Etihad Airways flights beyond Abu Dhabi to Cairo, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Amman and Muscat.