Etihad to launch direct flights to Brazil
Abu Dhabi, June 3, 2012
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has unveiled plans to launch daily flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the airline’s first South American destination, in June 2013.
The service will be the first direct air link between Abu Dhabi and any South American country and will mean Etihad Airways serves all of the BRIC high growth nations.
“Brazil is a logical next step for us and will mark the sixth continent we serve and our coming of age as a truly global airline,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer.
Brazil is the world’s sixth largest economy, having overtaken the UK in 2011. It is the largest country in South America and has the biggest population, at almost 200 million. Its trade and tourism will be boosted by its hosting of both the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
Hogan said: “Business and tourism flows between the United Arab Emirates and Brazil have been growing and will be strengthened by our daily direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo.”
Brazil’s Ambassador to the UAE, HE João de Mendonça Lima Neto, said: “I congratulate Etihad Airways on today’s announcement that it will open a daily direct flight between Abu Dhabi, and São Paulo, the commercial and financial centre of Brazil.
“We are witnessing significant growth in the bilateral relations between Brazil and the UAE and we are certain that Etihad Airways flights will create new opportunities for government, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges.”
Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, Gastão Dias Vieira, said: “These direct flights by Etihad Airways provides yet another link for our people, cultures and business.
“Brazil and the UAE share a positive relationship halfway across the globe, marked by an open political dialogue, thriving trade and investments, and an increasing number of travellers.
“Even before the inaugural flight, our country has already been part of Etihad’s success story, as many Brazilian pilots and flight attendants have joined the company over the years,” Vieira added.
More than 50 Brazilian nationals work for Etihad Airways, including 18 pilots and 27 cabin crew. All are based in the UAE.
Vieira said: “Brazil is an exciting new destination for Etihad travellers. Beaches with world-class resorts, thrilling eco-adventure destinations or cities with a bustling nightlife cater to all preferences of tourist travellers.
“At the same time, Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and offers a wide array of opportunities for trade and investment. São Paulo is a vibrant city and a preferred business destination in Latin America. As the first Etihad destination in the region, it is also a gateway for neighbouring countries.”
Brazil is currently the UAE’s fourth largest trading partner with bi-lateral trade between the two countries valued at $2.85 billion. Authorities hope to lift this to $10 billion within five years.
The flights will be operated by a three class A340-600 aircraft, offering 12 Diamond First class, 32 Pearl Business class and 248 Coral Economy seats - a total 2,044 seats per week. – TradeArabia News Service