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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Etihad Airways has unveiled its series of activities to celebrate the leadership and people of Saudi Arabia on the 88th National Day of the Kingdom. 

To mark the occasion on Sunday 23 September, the airline’s flagship Year of Zayed branded A380 will be deployed on EY311 and EY312, between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah. The flight crew operating the aircraft will be Saudi and UAE Nationals.

Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Senior Vice President Government and International Affairs said: “In recognition of the special bond between our two countries, and the increasing importance of the Saudi market to the airline, we are delighted to host this exciting programme of events. Over the coming months, Etihad will continue to strengthen this relationship and announce new partnerships with key Saudi Arabian organisations that will add even greater value to our guests.”

Etihad recently announced sponsorship of Riyadh-based Al Nassr FC, one of Saudi Arabia’s most popular football teams, and players from the club have recorded a special video which will be broadcast on National Day.

The airline commissioned Emirati poet, Ahmed Al Zarounei, to write a unique prose to symbolise the friendship and bond between the two countries. The 380-word Arabic poem, inspired by the A380, was transcribed on digital screens at Abu Dhabi International Airport in an interactive exhibit. The gesture was captured on film and will be broadcast across Etihad’s social media channels.

Guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia will receive themed chocolates and greeting cards on National Day. All guests visiting Etihad’s lounge in Abu Dhabi will be treated to a selection of Saudi Arabian themed cuisine.

The airline is also offering special fares from Saudi Arabia during the National Day celebration period. More details can be found on etihad.com or through local travel agents.

In 2017, Etihad operated 7,578 passenger flights and carried 1.3 million guests between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Etihad Cargo carried more than 28,000 tons of cargo between the two countries last year.

Etihad Airways currently operates 77 flights per week to Saudi Arabia; three return flights a day to Riyadh, three return flights a day to Jeddah, and four return flights a day to Dammam, as well as daily seasonal flights to Medina.

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