Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, joined celebrations at Abu Dhabi International Airport yesterday to welcome the arrival of partner airline Alitalia’s inaugural flights from Venice and Milan to the UAE capital.
A traditional water cannon salute marked the occasion, with Alitalia’s CEO Silvano Cassano and Chief Customer Officer Aubrey Tiedt travelling onboard the inaugural flight from Venice, along with Enrico Marchi, Chairman of the SAVE Group – Venice Airport.
The senior delegation was greeted on arrival by Bruno Matheu, Etihad Airways Chief Operating Officer Equity Partners, and officials from Abu Dhabi Airports Company.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Network development has been placed at the heart of Alitalia’s ambitious development strategy and we are delighted to codeshare on both of these new routes, which are the first to be launched by Alitalia since Etihad Airways acquired a 49 per cent stake in the airline.
“The service between Milan and Abu Dhabi combines with our own daily flights between the two cities to provide a convenient double daily frequency, while the Venice flights not only support inbound tourism, but are also an important new link to serve people in Northern Italy.
“Together, Etihad Airways and Alitalia now offer combined double daily flights to Milan and Rome, and a daily service to Venice. This is great news for our respective countries, as strong air transport links act as a catalyst for economic growth.
“It is also great news for travellers, not only between Italy and the UAE, but beyond. Abu Dhabi is a natural hub with a strategic location that connects Italy with Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinent through the fast-growing Etihad Airways network.”
Alitalia’s daily Venice – Abu Dhabi service is operated by an Airbus A330 aircraft with 20 business class seats, 17 economy plus seats and 213 economy class seats. The airline’s daily Milan – Abu Dhabi service deploys a Boeing 777 aircraft with 30 business class seats, 24 economy plus seats and 239 economy class seats.
Etihad Airways codeshares on the following flights launched by Alitalia yesterday:
|Milan (MXP) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||AZ856 / EY2871||22:10||06:15 + 1||Boeing 777||Daily|
|Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Milan (MXP)||AZ857 / EY2870||08:45||13:25||Boeing 777||Daily|
|Venice (VCE) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||AZ858 / EY2879||21:55||05:55 + 1||Airbus A330||Daily|
|Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Venice (VCE)||AZ859 / EY2878||09:05||13:35||Airbus A330||Daily|
Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time