06 Aug 2014 10:00
International superstar Ronan Keating joined a line-up of VIPs at the official launch of Etihad Airways new daily services between Perth and Abu Dhabi in the Western Australian capital last night.
The gala event,
overlooking the city’s skyline from landmark Kings Park, was hosted by the
airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner, who is in Australia this
week for a series of business events.
Among the 300 guests
were Australia’s Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar, His Excellency Pablo Kang;
Senior Ministers from the Western Australian Cabinet; Australian sporting
legends – John Bertrand, Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer – and members of the
state’s diplomatic, business and media community.
thanked guests for the support they had given the UAE flag carrier for the
successful launch of its new Perth services.
“We are delighted by
the enthusiastic response we’ve had from our stakeholders and the people of
“The interest in
Etihad Airways and our home, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has been extraordinary
and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with the
promises not only to bring more competition to the market and offer guests a
rewarding new travel experience, but also to invest in the economic prosperity
of rural and regional Western Australia through our partnerships with Virgin
Australia, Tourism Australia and Tourism Western Australia.”
commenced daily, non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and Perth on 15 July 2014
with an Airbus A330-200 offering 22 seats in business class and 240 in the
This adds more than
190,000 new seats of airline capacity each year to the Western Australian
travel market and offers greater access to convenient, one-stop flights between
Perth and over 30 business and holiday destinations worldwide over Abu Dhabi.
The cargo capacity of
the aircraft also offers the potential to strengthen trade between the UAE and
Australia, which is growing at a rapid rate, up 25 per cent to $A6.4 billion in