Etihad Airways has unveiled plans to fly to
Brazil, the airline’s first South American destination.
Sao Paulo flights, which are expected to start in June 2013, will
be the first direct air link between Abu Dhabi and any South
American country and will mean Etihad Airways serves all of the
BRIC high growth nations. The BRIC group is made up of Brazil,
Russia, India and China.
“Brazil is a logical next step for us and will
mark the sixth continent we serve and our coming of age as a truly
global airline,” James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief
Executive Officer, said. “Business and tourism flows between the
United Arab Emirates and Brazil have been growing and will be
strengthened by our daily direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao
Brazil is the world’s sixth largest economy,
having overtaken the UK in 2011. It is the largest country in
South America and has the biggest population, at almost 200
million. Its trade and tourism will be boosted by its hosting of
both the FIFA World Cup in 2014, and the Olympic Games in 2016.
Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, Mr Gastão
Dias Vieira, said: “These direct flights by Etihad Airways
provides yet another link for our people, cultures and business. Brazil and the UAE share a positive relationship
halfway across the globe, marked by an open political dialogue,
thriving trade and investments, and an increasing number of
travellers. Even before the inaugural flight, our
country has already been part of Etihad’s success story, as many
Brazilian pilots and flight attendants have joined the company
over the years.”
More than 50 Brazilian nationals
work for Etihad Airways, including 18 pilots and 27 cabin crew.
All are based in the UAE.
Brazil is currently the UAE’s fourth
largest trading partner with bi-lateral trade between the two
countries valued at US$2.85 billion. Authorities hope to lift this
to US$10 billion within five years.
There are 25
major Brazilian companies with offices in Abu Dhabi, and the UAE
buys sugar, soya beans, meat, aircraft, heavy oils, tractors and
construction vehicles from the South American country.
Exports from the UAE to Brazil include oil rigs, aviation
fuel, steel, aluminium goods and plastics.
flights are scheduled to begin on 1 June 2013 operated by a three class
A340-600 aircraft, offering 12 Diamond First class, 32 Pearl
Business class and 248 Coral Economy seats - a total 2,044 seats
is an exciting new destination for Etihad travellers. As the host
to both the 2014 FIFA Football World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Brazil
boasts opportunities for leisure and business. Beaches with
world-class resorts, thrilling eco-adventure destinations or
cities with a bustling nightlife cater to all preferences of
tourist travellers, said Mr Vieira. “At the same time, Brazil is
one of the fastest growing economies of the world and offers a
wide array of opportunities for trade and investment. São Paulo is
a vibrant city and a preferred business destination in Latin
America. As the first Etihad destination in the region, it is also
a gateway for neighbouring countries.”
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