Etihad Airways  has started its six flights a week service between the airline's Abu Dhabi home-base and the Nigerian city, Lagos.
To celebrate the new service, and Nigeria s love of football, Etihad Airways has operated its iconic sky-blue A330-200 aircraft , painted in Manchester City Football Club 's famous colours, for the launch flight.
An Etihad Airways delegation, led by Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner, will be met at Murtalla Muhammed International Airport by Ibrahim Auwalu, Nigerian Ambassador to the UAE, Rashed Naser Musabbah Al Dhaheri, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, and senior officials from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
Baumgartner said: "We are delighted to launch Etihad Airways flights to Lagos and our first passenger destination in West Africa. This is a momentous occasion in Etihad Airways history as we expand our flight network in Africa and increase ties between the UAE and Nigeria." During the visit to Lagos senior Etihad Airways executives will meet government officials and local tourism representatives as well as host an evening reception to celebrate the new flights.
The six flights per week Lagos will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 22 passengers in Pearl Business class and 240 passengers Coral Economy class. The service is Etihad Airways builds on the airline s existing flights to Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Nairobi and Tripoli.
Etihad Airways is lead sponsor of Manchester City Football Club. The "Blue Moon Rising" aircraft was unveiled in 2011 and is one of the many elements of Etihad Airways sponsorship of the English Premier League club.
The Etihad Airways logo has been on the Manchester City shirt since 2009 and the airline became naming sponsor of the club s Etihad Stadium and Campus in August 2011.