25 Mar 2013 10:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today added Hong Kong to its global network through a new codeshare with equity alliance partner, Air Seychelles. 

The inaugural Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong flight, operated by Air Seychelles’ brightly coloured Airbus A330-200 aircraft, marked the commencement of three weekly services between the two points. The Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong sector is the second leg of Air Seychelles’ new service from the island nation to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s fourth destination in Greater China – joining Beijing, Chengduand Shanghai. It is a strategically important new gateway for business and leisure travel between Asia and the UAE, GCC, Africa and island nations in the Indian Ocean. Travellers from Hong Kong can now connect seamlessly in Abu Dhabi to 12 destinations in Europe, three destinations in Africa, six in the GCC, and three destinations in the Middle East.*

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’President and Chief Executive Officer, said the new codeshare with Air Seychelles demonstrated the opportunities for revenue growth and network expansion available to each airline through increasing co-operation and resource sharing.

“The codeshare with Air Seychelles allows Etihad Airways to commence services to Hong Kong and extend its reach into Greater China sooner than would have been possible independently.

“It gives Etihad Airways immediate and direct access to rich, new sources of passenger and cargo revenue in Hong Kong and major outbound travel markets in southern China such as Guangzhou and Shenzen.

“It also provides another vital commercial and cultural air link between the UAE and China, the UAE’s second biggest trading partner, and gives travellers from Hong Kong and nearby southern China access to a wider choice of business and leisure destinations.

“At the same time, Etihad Airways’ contribution to selling seats and cargoon the new route helps Air Seychelles maximise its return on capital as it works with key stakeholders such as Seychelles Tourism Board and partner airlines to accelerate tourism growth from Hong Kong, southern China and other markets in the region.

“The new codeshare is a win-win for both airlines and for travellers across our combined global networks,” Mr Hogan added.

Commenting on the new route from Abu Dhabi International Airport, H.E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), said: "Abu Dhabi Airports Company is continuously striving to enhance its services and connectivity from its airports to further accommodate all travellers’ needs and expectations, a mission that has always rewarded us with many prestigious international accolades and rankings.

“Therefore, we are very excited to support the operation of this new route introduced jointly by Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles to provide our passengers with efficient and convenient connectivity between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.

“The new three weekly services represent the strong position Abu Dhabi is holding as a major air transport hub for the region.

"ADAC wishes both airlines further growth and success and looks forward to more expansion from Abu Dhabi International Airport," added His Excellency.

Etihad Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways, currently operates four weekly freighter flights from its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport to Hong Kong. 

The UAE flag carrier acquired a 40 per cent stake in Air Seychelles in 2012 and signed a five-year management contract to provide strategic support and management expertise in reshaping the airline as a sustainable commercial entity.

Earlier this month, just 12 months after joining the equity alliance, Air Seychelles reported a net profit of US$1 million for the 2012 financial year. The profit announcement followed three previous years of significant losses.

 The Air Seychelles Airbus A330-200 which operates the codeshare service to Hong Kong has a two-class configuration with 18 seats in business class and 236 in economy.

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