Etihad Airways is launching services from its Abu Dhabi base to Cape Town on 30 September 2009. The UAE national carrier aims to tap into expected high demand in the build up to Fifa 2010, when Cape Town will be an Official Host City.
It will be Etihad’s second destination in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and its fifth on the African continent, joining Khartoum, Cairo and Casablanca.
The new Cape Town flights will operate via Etihad’s current daily, Airbus A330, service to Joburg.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Etihad Airways is committed to expanding its flight network across the world and we are delighted to add flights to Cape Town to our schedule from September. In the coming 12 months demand for flights to South Africa will grow immensely, especially with the 2010 FIFA World Cup next summer.”
Etihad started flights to Johannesburg in December 2005 and it has since then established itself as one of the airline’s most successful destinations.
It is expected that the new Cape Town service will be welcomed by the South African expatriate community living in the UAE which now stands at approximately 40,000 people. It is also anticipated that many leisure travellers will fly to Cape Town with Etihad’s new service.
The city is South Africa’s premier tourist destination offering many highlights including the iconic Table Mountain and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. It was voted “Africa’s Leading Destination” at the 2009 World Travel Awards. Etihad meanwhile picked up “Middle East’s Leading Airline” plus a raft of other awards at the World Travel Awards Middle East Ceremony.