Etihad Airways, the national airline in the United Arab Emirates, is celebrating four years of operations in Russia this week. As their non-stop service between Moscow and Abu Dhabi has proven so successful, the airline is planning on expanding their Russian operations in the future.
Since their debut in the Russian travel market, Etihad Airways has carried 250,000 travelers and 620 tons of cargo, as their representatives proudly announced at a press conference held in Moscow. Ever since 2009 there are five weekly flights between Moscow and Abu Dhabi. As James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, explained the success of this air route is generated by the fact that there are currently 25,000 Russian citizens living in the UAE, along with 400 UAE-Russia joint venture companies.
“Moscow-Abu Dhabi has been a tremendous success with strong load factor and good traffic feeds from our codeshare partner, S7 Airlines. The aim now is to expand services and connectivity over both Abu Dhabi and Moscow with S7,” stated Mr. Hogan. “We remain committed to building the Etihad Airways brand in the Russian market, offering customers great choice, connectivity, and value from what is one of the growing destinations on our network.”
“Working closely with S7 Airlines, our Russian partners, the travel industry, the business community and governments, we look forward to further cementing the Etihad Airways brand across Russia and deepening the already strong relationship between Russia and the United Arab Emirates.”
While Russia is clearly a market of interest for Etihad Airways, global results are also encouraging for the UAE flag carrier. As their President and CEO announced, the airline will become a USD 5 billion business by the end of the year and also reach the 10 million passengers milestone.