airberlin, Europe’s sixth biggest carrier, has begun direct services from Berlin to Abu Dhabi with the first flight to the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arriving this morning.
The inaugural flight was greeted by a traditional water canon salute after touchdown at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
airberlin will operate the new flights in conjunction with Etihad Airways. This follows last month’s historic announcement that the national flag carrier of the UAE would become airberlin’s largest single shareholder.
Using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, airberlin will operate four flights a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) between the two capital cities.
Addressing guests at Berlin Tegal airport prior to boarding inaugural flight AB7494, airberlin Chief Executive Officer Hartmut Mehdorn said: “This strategic partnership with Etihad Airways not only opens up unique opportunities for the future of airberlin, it also brings a number of benefits for passengers in terms of access to new routes, including our new all-year-round direct services to Abu Dhabi.
“The new route will allow business and leisure travellers to experience the very best of what Abu Dhabi has to offer. In addition, it is a fantastic opportunity for travellers to use the UAE hub as a convenient and accessible gateway to Asia and Australia. We look forward to working with all the various stakeholders in making this new route a success for all.”
Guests at the Berlin Tegal airport reception included UAE Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmood, German Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Nikolai von Schöpff, Lord Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, Chief Commercial Officer of Berlin Airports, Dr. Manfred Körtgen, Etihad Airways Senior Vice President of Technical, Werner Rothenbaecher, federal and local politicians.
Welcoming the flight to Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan said: “This flight marks a key milestone in our new partnership with airberlin.
“We are delighted, through this partnership, to link the capital cities of Germany – a hugely important market for Etihad Airways – and the United Arab Emirates.
“We are looking forward to strengthening our ties with airberlin as we work closely over the coming months to explore opportunities to bring the benefits of our partnership to our customers.”