16 Jul 2014 14:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), commenced a daily non-stop service between Abu Dhabi and Rome Fiumicino Airport yesterday morning.
A senior delegation from
the airline travelled on the flight including Senior Vice President Executive
Affairs, Hasan Al Hammadi and Senior Vice President Government and
Aeropolitical Affairs, Khaled Al Mehairbi.
Guests onboard the
inaugural flight were presented with special commemorative certificates to mark
the occasion, while a ribbon-cutting ceremony also took place at Rome airport, hosted
by Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) Aviation Marketing Development Director, Dr Fausto
Celebrations in Rome will
continue with a gala reception attended by over 300 dignitaries, government
officials, travel agents, tourism representatives and executives from Etihad
Airways’ partner airlines.
Etihad Airways’ daily
service to Rome is operated using Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class
configuration, featuring 22 fully-flat beds in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy
President and Chief
Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “Italy is a very important market for
Etihad Airways and we are delighted to establish a second gateway here, after
“By starting services to
Rome, we have strengthened our commitment to Italy and reinforced the close
economic and political relationship it shares with the UAE, which is Italy’s
leading trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.
“Demand from business and
leisure travellers has been incredibly strong on this new route, strengthened
by the convenient onward connections we offer in both directions, either with
Etihad Airways’ own flights or through our extensive network of codeshare and
Lorenzo Lo Presti, Aeroporti di Roma Chief Executive
Officer, said: “We are honoured to
welcome Etihad Airways to Rome, where the airline’s new daily direct flight to
Abu Dhabi represents another major milestone for growing passenger and cargo
traffic to and from Italy's main airport.
“We have always been particularly attentive to
emerging markets, and the Middle East is an area which continues to enhance the
range of direct flights on offer. We are
certain this new connection between our hub and the UAE capital will increase
the flow of business and tourism traffic in both directions.
“Looking ahead, our strategically situated Leonardo
da Vinci Rome Fiumicino airport stands ready to play its part welcoming more
visitors to Italy, and providing easy onward connections to the rest of the
The schedule of Etihad
Airways’ Rome-Abu Dhabi flights offers convenient links to destinations across
the Gulf region, Indian subcontinent, Africa, Asia and Australia. In the
opposite direction, Abu Dhabi-Rome flights connect to European cities such as Belgrade,
Bolzano, Tirana and Zagreb through flights operated by the airline’s equity
partners Air Serbia and Etihad Regional.
In addition, Etihad
Airways codeshares on Italian national carrier Alitalia’s services between Abu
Dhabi and Rome, and beyond to a wide range of Italian domestic and European
cities, including Milan, Bucharest, Sofia, Vienna, Venice, Madrid, Malaga,
Budapest, Malta and Barcelona.
Earlier this month Alitalia and Etihad Airways were
named as Official Global Airline Carriers
for Expo 2015, the upcoming
Universal Exposition which will be held in Milan from 1 May to 31 October 2015.