Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will commence codeshare services to Hong Kong in February, 2013 in partnership with Air Seychelles, subject to regulatory approval.
The three return services per week between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong will be operated by its equity and codeshare partner, Air Seychelles. The new codeshare supplements Etihad Airways’ expansion in mainland China, following the launch of its first service to Beijing in March 2008, and more recently to Chengdu in December 2011 and Shanghai in March earlier this year.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Hong Kong’s fast growing economy and booming middle class have brought a remarkable increase in the number of travellers in recent years.
“The new service connects two of the world’s leading international financial and tourism centres, a move we believe will stimulate the growth of commerce and trade between the UAE and China, the UAE’s second largest trading partner.”
The flight schedule will provide leisure and business passengers from Hong Kong with seamless connectivity through Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, to key destinations across the GCC and to primary European destinations including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Ireland.
The schedule also allows two-way connectivity between Hong Kong and the Seychelles, supporting a booming tourism industry on the archipelago.
“With our 40 per cent equity stake in Air Seychelles, it makes strong commercial sense for us to work together on opportunities where cooperation is possible. The resulting synergies bring about significant efficiency benefits for both Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles,” Mr Hogan added.
Etihad Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways, operates a three times a week service from its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport to Hong Kong.