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03 Feb 2014 14:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has appointed Rashed Saif Al Shabi as Area General Manager for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Based in Riyadh, Mr Al Shabi will oversee the airline’s commercial activities in the Kingdom, with flights currently operated between Riyadh, Jeddah Dammam and Al Medina AL Munawra and Abu Dhabi. 

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Saudi Arabia is a very important market for Etihad Airways and we are delighted that Rashed Saif Al Shabi, who has an extensive and successful track record, will serve as our new Area General Manager. 

“Rashed is the first Emirati to be appointed as Area General Manager in our fast growing global sales organisation, reflecting our continued efforts to place UAE nationals in strategically important roles across our key international markets.” 

Mr Al Shabi previously served in a number of roles at Etihad Airways, including General Manager in Cyprus and Business Development Manager in Jordan. He also established the airline’s station in the Seychelles and was crucially involved in developing and implementing Etihad Airways’ partnership with Air Seychelles, in which the UAE national carrier owns a 40 per cent stake. 

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Al Shabi said: “Etihad Airways commenced flights to Saudi Arabia in December 2004 and it has remained a key market for us ever since. I am excited about the opportunity to further develop our presence in the Kingdom, including the launch of flights to Al Medina this month.” 

The new service to Al Medina commenced on February 1, 2014, increasing the weekly number of Saudi Arabia flights operated by Etihad Airways to 58.

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