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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, today welcomed the arrival of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, unveiling a special livery design honouring its prestigious partnership with Manchester City Football Club. 

The aircraft was delivered to Etihad in Abu Dhabi on 18 October 2019, ahead of its inaugural flight to Manchester Airport today. On arrival, the flight and its passengers were met by Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer for Manchester City, City legend Joleon Lescott, Karen Bardsley and mascots for a welcome ceremony to mark the historic occasion. Guests travelling on the inaugural flight were given City branded merchandise on arrival.

Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “As we celebrate a decade of this successful partnership, we are proud to see the Manchester City colours grace our runways and skies, as the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner takes flight. This livery pays tribute to the Club’s incredible accomplishments on and off the pitch.

“Manchester is a very important destination in the Etihad network serving both business and leisure travellers. We are proud to showcase the city, and our partnership with the club through this uniquely branded aircraft. It is only fitting that its first commercial flight is to Manchester.”

Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester City, said: “Manchester City’s partnership with Etihad Airways continues to go from strength to strength and this new livery is yet another example of how Etihad are celebrating the achievements of the Club with fans around the world. This is an exciting milestone in our partnership, and we can’t wait to see the City crest and colours take to the skies!”

In the coming months, the specially painted City Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will also be scheduled to fly in and out of destinations including Manchester, Jordan, Spain, Indonesia and China.

Etihad Airways flies to Manchester Airport 14 times a week, providing guests with direct access to the UK’s cultural hotspot. In addition to flights to and from London Heathrow, the airline conveniently connects the UK to Abu Dhabi and international destinations throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

The brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner features Etihad’s innovative, award-winning cabin designs and products, including the unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest for maximum comfort while travelling in economy. The Business Studios feature direct aisle access and a fully-flat bed of up to 80.5 inches in length. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is also one of the most economic aircraft in the sky.

The new Manchester City-themed livery is the first since 2011, when Etihad Airways unveiled the “Blue Moon Rising” A330-200 in celebration of its second daily service to Manchester.

Both City and Manchester Airport have launched a joint social media competition encouraging fans to post photos of the aircraft on their Instagram or Facebook pages with the hashtag #EtihadMCFC787. Participants stand a chance of winning flights to Abu Dhabi or tickets to watch the derby match at Manchester City FC.

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