Etihad Airways is to launch flights between Abu Dhabi
and Istanbul in Turkey from 2 June. The airline will initially operate
the route four times a week before expanding to five flights a week in
The addition of Istanbul will bring to 13 the
number of European cities served by Etihad. The new destination
will increase the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s global flight network
to 54 cities and follows confirmation that Etihad will also begin
flights to Melbourne and Athens during 2009.
Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said, “Istanbul represents
our second confirmed new European destination to be launched in
2009 and demonstrates the increasing importance of this market to
“Trade links between the UAE and
Turkey have grown substantially in recent years and we anticipate
strong demand between these two important commercial centres. The
new route will also provide convenient onward connections to some
of the well-established Turkish communities served by our global
network, notably Sydney and Melbourne.”
located on the Bosphorus Strait, is the largest city in Turkey.
The city extends both on the European and Asian side of the
Bosphorus, and is the only city in the world to be situated on two
different continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the
capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
There are estimated to be around 6,000 Turkish
expatriates currently living and working in the UAE, mainly in the
construction, engineering, financial and tourism sectors.
The volume of trade between the UAE and Turkey grew by 400% from US$700 million (Dh2.57bn) in 2002 to US$3.7
billion (Dh13.6bn) in 2007. The UAE currently has investments of
more than US$4 billion (Dh14.7bn) in Turkey, while Turkey has
committed US$40 billion (Dh147bn) in investments to the UAE
within the next four years.
Etihad will operate a
two-class Airbus A320 to Istanbul, configured to carry 140
passengers with 20 seats in business class and 120 in economy
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