Etihad launches flights to Belarus
Abu Dhabi, August 6, 2008
Etihad Airways has become the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus with the launch of two weekly flights to capital Minsk.
The inaugural flight which took off from Abu Dhabi on Tuesday was greeted on arrival with a traditional ‘water-arch’ at the Minsk airport. The passengers were received by a VIP welcoming committee, comprising Belarusian government’s minister of transport Vladimir Sosnovsky and vice minister of tourism Cheslav Shulga.
The new air link is expected to boost significantly trade and investment ties between the UAE and Belarus even as the volume of trade between the two countries stands at more than Dh110-150 million per year.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “To make history as the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus is a great honour for Etihad Airways. We are extremely excited to help strengthen further the trade ties between the two countries through the launch of our new Minsk service.”
Minsk is the largest city in Belarus, with a population of 1.8 million people and is the country’s major industrial centre with more than 250 factories and manufacturing plants.
With a central location in the heart of Europe, a rich cultural heritage and stunning scenery, Belarus is also seeking to exploit its strong tourism potential. It is the third new destination to be launched by Etihad this month.
On August 1, the airline launched daily flights from Abu Dhabi to both Chennai and Kozhikode (Calicut).
Minsk brings the total number of global destinations now served by Etihad to 48, a number which will rise to 50 by the end of 2008 with the launch of new services to Moscow in Russia and Almaty in Kazhakstan.
The Belarusian capital becomes the tenth destination in Etihad’s flight network in Europe which already includes Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Manchester, Milan, Munich and Paris.
Etihad operates one of its new Airbus A319 aircraft on the twice-weekly Minsk service on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A third weekly flight will be added every Saturday from October, Hogan noted.
Flight EY061 will depart Abu Dhabi on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.45am and land in Minsk at 2.25pm the same day. The return flight, EY062, will take off from Minsk on the same days at 3.15pm, and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 9.40pm, he added.-TradeArabia News Service