Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will launch services to Nagoya and Tokyo in the first quarter of 2010 – the airline’s first destinations in Japan.
Etihad will operate a four flights a week service to Nagoya, via Beijing, from Monday, 1 February, increasing to five flights a week from 27 March (subject to regulatory approval).
A five flights a week direct service to Tokyo’s Narita airport commences on Saturday 27 March (subject to regulatory approval).
The addition of Tokyo and Nagoya on Etihad’s flying programme will bring to eight the number of destinations served by Etihad in the Far East, which currently includes Beijing, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways chief executive officer, said: “Rarely does an airline have the opportunity to launch flights to two cities in one country at the same time, so these services to Tokyo and Nagoya are very special for Etihad.
“Commercial and cultural ties between the UAE and Japan continue to grow and Etihad is proud to play a part in boosting these ties.
“We offer our thanks to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau for their support and assistance during the negotiation which has enabled these important air links to become a reality.”
Total trade between the two countries currently stands at more than US$ 40 billion. Japan is the second largest foreign investor in the UAE with foreign direct investments of more than US$ 4 billion.
Among the areas of investment are the automotive and hospitality industries. Current statistics indicate that 330 Japanese companies operate in the UAE. More than 3,500 Japanese nationals reside in the country and 8,800 in the Middle East region.
Narita Airport receives the majority of international passenger traffic to and from Japan, primarily serving Tokyo. The second runway at Narita has recently been extended to 2,500 metres, and additional infrastructure has provided increased landing slots and handling capability.
Nagoya is Japan’s third-largest city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan. It is located on the Pacific coast in the Chûbu region and is home to the Suzuka track which hosts the Formula 1™ Japanese Grand Prix. Nagoya is also home to the worldwide brand of Toyota where its head quarters are based along with significant manufacturing plants.
Etihad will operate a three cabin Airbus A330 to Tokyo and a two cabin A330 to Nagoya.
Convenient connection times will ensure that flights between Japan and Etihad’s European and Middle East flight network, via Abu Dhabi, are popular with business and leisure travellers.
Etihad announced in September the appointment of Masatsugu Nishiyori and Juan Torres to head up its offices in Japan. Based in Tokyo, Mr Nishiyori is the airline’s vice president – general manager in Japan, while Mr Torres has taken up the position of commercial manager.
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