Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will launch daily non-stop flights to Zurich, Switzerland from June 1, 2014.
Through Zurich, the daily flight will connect with the route network of
Etihad Airways' latest equity partner, Darwin Airline, which will be rebranded
Darwin Airline will provide connections between Zurich and eight new destinations–Leipzig, Florence, Graz, Linz, Lyon, Turin and Verona, as well as a new
domestic service to Geneva. The airline
already operates domestic services between Geneva and Lugano.
Subject to regulatory approvals, Zurich will become Etihad Airways’
second Swiss destination after Geneva, and the route will be served by an Airbus
A330-300 aircraft in a three-class configuration.*
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, a major financial centre, business
hub and tourism destination, and has a catchment area of two million people.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief
Executive Officer, said: “Thanks to our
new relationship with Darwin Airline, Zurich will become an important
connection point for travellers into and out of Europe.
“Following nine years of successful operations to Geneva, our new route to
one of the world’s most important financial and banking centres comes at a time
when trade and leisure ties between the UAE, Switzerland and beyond are rapidly
Swiss exports to the UAE were valued at US$3.45 billion in 2012, up 14
per cent on 2011, whilst exports from the UAE to Switzerland rose 11 per cent
over the same period to US$600 million.
Mr Hogan added: “Building on these
growing bilateral ties, this route announcement will see Etihad Airways spread
its European footprint, and at the same time, cement its presence in
Switzerland at a crucial time in our growth strategy.
“The route will offer business and leisure customers an additional entry
point to mainland Europe, and through our recent equity deal with Darwin
Airline, enhanced access to key European regional destinations.
“In addition, airberlin will place its AB flight code on the new Abu
Dhabi-Zurich service, where it will link in seamlessly with a number of their
operations beyond Zurich to Germany and Spain.”
Demand for the new Etihad Airways Zurich service is forecast to be
strong among the Swiss community in the UAE, which numbers more than 2,400
Swiss nationals and 300 Swiss companies.
A key benefit to travellers of the non-stop Abu Dhabi-Zurich service
will be convenient flight arrival and departure times and network connectivity
at each end.
Mr Hogan concluded: “The new
flight schedule will appeal to business and leisure travellers in both
directions, as it optimally connects our existing services over Abu Dhabi with
destinations in the GCC, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia, and with our
partners’ services at Zurich to cities across Europe.”
aircraft will be configured with 8 seats in Diamond First Class, 32 in Pearl
Business Class and 191 in Coral Economy Class.