16 Jan 2014 18:30
Swiss-based airline Etihad Regional was launched in Zurich today heralding a new era of improved regional and international connections for travellers in Europe.
in partnership with UAE national carrier, Etihad Airways, the new carrier will
be operated by Switzerland’s Darwin Airline, which is headquartered in Lugano
with a major hub in Geneva.
first aircraft to feature Etihad Regional’s branding, a 50-seat Saab 2000, and new
cabin interiors and crew uniforms were showcased for the first time to
international media at Zurich Airport, alongside an Etihad Airways Airbus
A330-300 aircraft. In the evening VIP guests attended a reception at the Dolder
The new livery will adorn all 10 aircraft in the fleet by the end of
Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, explained that
the strategy behind Etihad Regional was to build strong regional airline
partnerships around the world.
Regional will provide a unique opportunity to strengthen vitally important
regional networks and connect them to the rapidly expanding global network of
will choose partners, as we have done with Darwin Airline, which share our
passion for delivering an outstanding service to travellers, with greater
choice and more convenience.”
to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will acquire a 33.3 per cent stake in
Darwin Airline as part of its equity airline alliance strategy. Darwin Airline
will become the seventh member of the international alliance and Etihad Airways’
fourth partner in Europe.
Merlo, Chief Executive Officer of Darwin Airline, said: “Etihad Regional is
good news for travellers and for Europe’s regional economies. We have a clear
strategy and firm commitment to build a strong regional airline linking
European cities and towns and provincial centres, which also connect to the
broader global network of Etihad Airways.
makes Etihad Regional unique is the way Etihad Airways and its equity alliance
partners, in particular airberlin and Air Serbia, can also feed passengers into
the regional network.
expect that as Etihad Regional expands, it will be able to offer more direct
employment locally, and further indirect employment opportunities in connecting
Regional, operated by Darwin Airline, currently offers year round flights to 15
destinations in Europe using a fleet of 10 Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft. By
mid-2014, this will more than double to 34 destinations. (Refer Table 1)
these additions, Etihad Regional’s network will include seven European gateways
served by Etihad Airways: Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris, Düsseldorf, Belgrade,
Zurich (commencing in June 2014) and Rome (commencing in July 2014).
Regional network will connect with airberlin in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Zurich,
providing onward connectivity to destinations in Europe and North America.
The partnership also makes provision for a phased approach to
introducing codeshare agreements, subject to regulatory approval. In phase one
Etihad Airways will place its EY code on 16 routes operated by Darwin Airline.
(Refer Table 2)
addition to network and efficiency benefits, Darwin Airline will adopt the
Etihad Guest loyalty program with full earn and burn rights.
Airways’ minority shareholdings also include 29 per cent of airberlin, 40 per
cent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 per cent of Virgin Australia, 3 per cent of Aer
Lingus and 24 per cent of India’s Jet Airways. The airline will acquire 49 per
cent of Air Serbia in January 2014.
Together, Etihad Airways and these seven
airlines serve nearly 400 unique destinations with a fleet of more than 500
aircraft. In 2013, they carried a combined total of more than 80.5 million passengers – comparable to large airline
partnerships in Europe.
1. New non-stop routes
Regional, operated by Darwin Airline, to introduce:
Table 2. First
phase codeshare agreements
Etihad Airways will, subject to regulatory
place its EY code on 16 routes operated by Darwin Airline:
- from Amsterdam and
Paris to Cambridge
- from Dusseldorf to
London City and Berlin
- from Geneva to
Lugano, Cambridge, Rome, Stuttgart, Zurich, Valencia, Belgrade and Ibiza
- from Rome to Tirana
- from Berlin to
Poznan and Wroclaw