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Etihad Airways signs partnership with MSC Cruises to boost Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways signs partnership with MSC Cruises to boost Abu Dhabi From left to right: MSC Cruise chief executive Gianni Onorato; Etihad president James Hogan; Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman MSC Cruises; and captain Mohamed al Shamsi, chief executive Officer Abu Dhabi Ports Company

MSC Cruises and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have signed a new partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests travelling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

The partnership with Etihad Airways reflects MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to its guests and is testament to the company’s wish to always make its all-around offering a best-in-class experience, both at sea and in the air.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to partner with Etihad Airways.

“Both companies are uniquely young, ambitious and dynamic market leaders.

“With our Fly&Cruise packages, MSC Cruises guests will benefit from Etihad Airways’ and our company’s impeccable service from the minute they leave their homes for a memorable cruise experience on MSC Musica.

“Through our partnership and also together with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority we will work to develop Abu Dhabi as an ideal winter cruise destination to further strengthen our offer in the region.”

Fly&Cruise packages will be on offer from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK with Etihad Airways or partner airlines in its network.

Etihad president James Hogan declared: “Abu Dhabi is being developed into a leading international cruise destination, with record passenger numbers and ship calls reported during the recent 2014/2015 season.

“Future projections are even stronger, as the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opens at the end of this year, and world-class cultural attractions such as Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums enhance the local tourism offering.”

In its focus on developing the cruise market in the beautiful region of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, MSC Cruises logically partnered with Etihad Airways.

Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Cruises’ guests will be able to fly to Abu Dhabi from Europe with Etihad Airways to cruise in the region in the amazing Arabian winter.

Guests will fly with the national airline of the UAE to their cruise during winter 2015-2016 on MSC Musica.

Contributing nearly 20 per cent in terms of market share to Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, MSC Cruises has brought over 100,000 passengers from 115 nationalities to the Emirate between 2011 and 2015.

Overall, Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, that ran from October 2014 until May 2015, welcomed a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.