10 Jul 2014 09:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will commence daily flights to Madrid on 29 March 2015, marking its first service to Spain and its 20th destination in Europe. 

The new route will be operated to Madrid Barajas Airport using a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, offering a total of 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class.

In addition to providing the first ever direct connection between the Spanish capital and Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, the upcoming service will offer convenient onward flights to destinations across the GCC region, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “The introduction of daily flights to Madrid will strengthen our network in Europe and provide a much-needed direct link between Spain and Abu Dhabi. Demand is expected to be strong, boosted not only by strong tourism links, but also the UAE’s position as Spain’s largest trade partner in the GCC region, with trade between the two countries increasing by 75 per cent between 2009 and 2012.

“Travellers will also benefit from connections to other destinations, through our global network and codeshare partnerships with other airlines. The initial response towards our codeshare operations with Spain’s Air Europa, which launched in April 2014, has been particularly strong and we look forward to extending this cooperation in the future, subject to regulatory approval.”

More than 60.6 million international tourists visited Spain in 2013, with its capital and largest city, Madrid, placed at the heart of the country’s tourism industry. Popular activities include a visit to the largest royal palace in Western Europe, Palacio Real, the restaurants, shops and architectural wonders on offer at Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía and Puerta Del Sol, and family fun at Retiro Park’s picture-perfect gardens, boating lake and street theatre.

In addition, Madrid is a leading destination for art connoisseurs and home to the acclaimed ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, comprising the Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofia Museums.

Etihad Airways’ Madrid route will offer a 168-tonne cargo capacity per week in both directions, supporting a number of Spanish industries and the country’s overall economy, which is ranked the 15th largest in the world and fourth largest in the Eurozone.

Etihad Airways has announced six new routes for the first half of 2015, starting with Kolkata in February, Madrid in March, Entebbe in May, and Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Algiers in June.

The airline’s flights to and from Madrid can be booked from today onwards on etihad.com, through Etihad Airways Contact Centres, or via travel agents.

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