Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), in cooperation with Etihad Airways, welcomed this morning the first airberlin flight to Abu Dhabi International Airport. Germany's second largest airline’s inaugural flight arrived to Abu Dhabi International Airport at 6:35 am local time, where it was saluted with traditional water cannons and greeted by James E. Bennett, CEO of ADAC, James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Airways and Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO airberlin.
airberlin will operate four weekly non-stop flights between Berlin and Abu Dhabi, with travelers now enjoying access to a total of 29 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and four German hubs, with a plan to increase to 42 flights from mid-April.
Commenting on the occasion, James E. Bennett, CEO ADAC, said: "ADAC is delighted to be welcoming a new member in its family, airberlin, adding at the same time a new destination on Abu Dhabi International Airport’s expanding network. airberlin is our first new airline in 2012 and this new route demonstrates the confidence of leading airlines in the potential of Abu Dhabi as an international tourism and trade hub. We wish them every success and look forward to seeing even more services from Abu Dhabi.”
The new Berlin-Abu Dhabi route was launched following Etihad Airways’ strategic agreement with airberlin, increasing their stake to 29.21 per cent and seeing Etihad Airways becoming the biggest single shareholder in the European airline.
Commenting on the new route and partnership, James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a great day for airberlin, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi International Airport. Today’s inaugural from the German capital into Abu Dhabi expands our joint network reach, gives Etihad Airways access to 35 million new passengers, and provides a real opportunity for global growth for both airberlin and Etihad Airways. It is just the start of what will initially lead to Etihad Airways code sharing on 36 of airberlin’s 171 destinations, and airberlin code sharing on 24 of our 72 passenger destinations.”
“It all adds up to a great deal for travellers at all ends of our combined and extensive global network of 239 destinations, full frequent flyer benefits included. The cooperation with airberlin will dramatically improve global connectivity for our guests in the GCC, Middle East, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria,” added Hogan.
Hartmut Mehdorn, airberlin CEO, added: ”With the increasing demand for flights to and from Abu Dhabi to Berlin, this route allows our customers to enjoy Abu Dhabi as a destination, and also increase the opportunity for German travelers to use this convenient and accessible gateway to Asia and Australia. We look forward to working with Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Etihad Airways on further developing our services to travelers from Abu Dhabi International Airport.”
airberlin will start operating flights on the Berlin-Abu Dhabi route every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, using A330-200 aircraft with a seating capacity of 303 seats. airberlin flights from Abu Dhabi to the German capital will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.