26 Sep 2013 11:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has unveiled its new European headquarters in Berlin, enhancing the airline’s presence in the German domestic market and further cementing its strategic relationship with airberlin. 

Located in the heart of Berlin’s historic Potsdamer Platz, the new office houses both Etihad Airways’ European and Germany sales and marketing teams, and includes joint Etihad Airways-airberlin reservation and ticketing counters.

The office is located on the eighth floor of an iconic Richard Rogers-designed building on Linkstrasse, the architect who is also known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and both the Lloyds building and Millennium dome in London.

In Berlin for the official opening, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said:  “Germany remains a critically important part of Etihad Airways’ growing passenger and cargo network, and while much of Europe continues to face challenges linked to the prevailing euro crisis, the German inbound and outbound travel is performing well for us.”

Mr Hogan said the new central Berlin office would benefit both the Etihad Airways and airberlin commercial teams, as they work ever closer to drive value for both airlines.  “It makes sound business sense to be based in Berlin, and close to our strategic equity partner.”

Etihad Airways’ Vice President Europe, Joost den Hartog and Etihad Airways’ General Manager Germany, Philip Lewin will lead the respective Etihad Airways Europe and Germany teams at the new Berlin office.

In total, 35 Etihad Airways employees will work in the new facility, 25 of whom are German, with the rest coming from the UAE, the Netherlands, Egypt, India, Italy, Pakistan, Morocco, the UK, and Switzerland.

Mr Hogan concluded:  “2013 marks our ninth year of operations to Germany, the largest outbound travel market in Europe.

“Last year, we carried 47 per cent more guests (530,351) to and from Germany compared to 2011, and that was due to better load factors to and from Frankfurt and Munich, the launch of our daily Dusseldorf service, and strong feeder traffic coming from airberlin.  Cargo also proved resilient as tonnage carried to and from Germany was up 18 per cent to 52,000 tons.”

He said the most popular destinations for German travellers continue to be Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, and noted this quarter was shaping up to be one of the busiest on record.

“Looking ahead we are on target to hit our numbers for 2013, and with the opening of this new office, there is no doubt that we’re in Europe and Berlin for the long haul.”

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