12 Jun 2015 15:30
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, will connect the Middle East to the Scottish capital with the launch this week of daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is Etihad Airways’ first Scottish destination, and its third
point in the UK, alongside a triple-daily operation to London Heathrow and
double-daily flights to Manchester.
The new service is operated with a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft,
offering a total of 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class. It will provide connections through the Abu Dhabi
hub to the world’s most attractive holiday destinations and trade centres for
the Scottish economy in the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Asia and
Peter Baumgartner, Chief
Commercial Officer for Etihad Airways, said: “Scotland is the natural next step on our growth trajectory in the UK, with
strong tourism and business traffic in both directions. We have been
impressed by the welcome we have received from Edinburgh Airport and from the
Scottish tourism industry. Many local stakeholders have played a part in
attracting us to the city and welcoming us here, and we’re confident this
service will be a great success.
not all about Edinburgh either, as we know there’s a strong demand across the
central belt and further afield, not least from Aberdeen-based business
travellers, for long-haul services. Abu Dhabi is a growing tourism and trade
destination in itself with leisure attractions including world-class beach and
desert resorts, Ferrari World, our Championship golf courses and the Louvre Abu
Dhabi, opening in a few months’ time, coupled with year-round sunshine, which
makes our home an exciting option for Scottish holiday-makers.
the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is also an important business and financial
hub across many industry sectors. With more than 110 direct destinations – and
hundreds more through our partners – we can connect Scottish travellers
wherever they need to go, for business or for leisure. Additionally, for
Scottish trade and tourism, we will be able to bring in leisure and business
visitors from many of these destinations.”
a business and trade perspective, the UAE is already a primary trade partner
for Scotland in the Middle East region. According to figures released at
the end of 2014 by the UK’s Office
for National Statistics, bilateral trade between the UAE and UK reached more
than £12.36 billion in 2013.
For leisure customers, Edinburgh is a
significant tourist draw. The city is the UK’s largest tourist market outside
London, with more than a million arrivals from overseas each year.
Significantly, Edinburgh is the second most popular British city for
Australians, 8 per cent of whom have Scottish ancestry. Etihad Airways
currently connects directly to Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne and onward
to around 40 further destinations across Australia, through the partnership
with Virgin Australia.
Scottish Enterprise figures show
that the Middle East is the second largest international market for Scottish
oil and gas exports, valued at £2 billion, so areas across Scotland such as
Aberdeen will be a target for the new service. The aircraft will offer a 168-tonne cargo capacity
per week in both directions, with oil and gas equipment expected to be transported
to destinations served by the airline’s cargo division in Saudi Arabia,
Singapore, Australia and regions in Africa.
The cargo service also supports Edinburgh’s
position as the fourth largest finance centre in Europe and a global hub for
scientific research, food and drink, oil and gas, and chemical industries. Food
exports from Scotland were worth a record £1.1 billion in 2014, with a surge in
fish and seafood sales for markets in Asia
such as China and Hong Kong, served by Etihad Airways.
||Abu Dhabi (AUH)
||Abu Dhabi (AUH)