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Officials at Etihad's inaugural flight launch ceremony.

Etihad launches debut flights to Rabat

ABU DHABI, January 16, 2016

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has launched flights from Abu Dhabi to its second Moroccan destination with scheduled services to Rabat.

The inaugural flight touched down at Rabat-Sale International Airport to a traditional water cannon salute on Friday afternoon followed by an arrival ceremony with chief guests, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism Lahcen Haddad, and the UAE Ambassador to Morocco, Al Asri Saeed Al Dhaheri.

The twice-weekly service, operated by three-class Airbus A340-500 aircraft, is the only direct commercial air link between the two capital cities, said a statement from the airline.

With existing daily services on the Abu Dhabi – Casablanca route, Etihad Airways has boosted its Morocco frequency to nine flights each week.  

The inaugural delegation on flight EY615 to Rabat was led by Khaled Al Mehairbi, Etihad Airways’ senior VP (Government and Aeropolitical Affairs).

The delegation included Captain Salah Awadh Alfarajalla, senior VP (Security and National Pilot Development), Hareb Mubarak Al Muhairy, senior VP (Corporate and International Affairs), Ali Al Shamsi, VP (Abu Dhabi Hub Operations) Joost Den Hartog, the acting VP (Global Sales) and Amer Khan, VP (Middle East and North Africa).

James Hogan, Etihad president and CEO, said: “This new direct air link demonstrates Etihad Airways’ commitment to build sustainable ties in the North African region and to deepening the strong relationship between Morocco and the UAE."

"Rabat is a historical city that has grown in appeal for business and leisure travellers. With our new service, we are supporting further growth flying in travellers from across our international network to our newest gateway in Morocco," observed Hogan.

"Likewise, we are facilitating ease of travel from Rabat to Abu Dhabi and beyond to the many cities we serve, giving our guests the opportunity to enjoy the high levels of service that we are renowned for around the world," he added.

Combined with Casablanca, the Rabat route brings to nearly 4,200 the total number of seats each week on Etihad Airways’ services between the UAE and Morocco.

Al Dhaheri, said: "There is no doubt that the new Etihad Airways route between the two Arabian capitals is a result of joint cooperation between the two countries in civil aviation. This is a further step in the development of the relationship between the UAE and Morocco."

"Direct flights will contribute profoundly to the development of trade, investment and tourism. The UAE and Morocco are united by a long history of cooperation and the growth of economic and trade relations between the two countries has developed significantly over recent years," he added.

The Abu Dhabi – Rabat flight is being operated on Wednesdays and Fridays using an Airbus A340-500 with a capacity of 240 seats, offering 12 in First Class, 28 in Business, and 200 in Economy.

The flight EY 615 will take off from Abu Dhabi at 10am and arrive in Rabat at 3.15pm. On return, the flight EY 616 will leave the Moroccan city at 8pm and land in the UAE capital at 7.25am the next day.

Etihad Airways is able to extend its reach across North Africa further through a codeshare agreement with Royal Air Maroc, providing passengers with direct flights from Casablanca to destinations throughout Morocco, including Agadir, Marrakech and Tangier.

Etihad Airways also operates scheduled services to eight other destinations in Africa, including: Johannesburg, Khartoum, Cairo, Lagos, Nairobi, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam and Mahé in the Seychelles.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Etihad | Morocco | Flights | Rabat |

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