Etihad Airway will launch a fourtimes- a-week service between Abu Dhabi and Dublin on 2 July 2007.
The route will be operated with an Airbus A330-200, offering cargo capacity of 14 tonnes in each direction. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “There is enormous demand for this new Etihad frequent service between these two rapidly expanding economies. Trade ties have increased considerably during the last decade and Etihad looks forward to supporting further growth when our flights start soon.”
Annual trade figures between the two countries for 2006 stood at more than US$343 million (AED 1.25 billion), an increase of nearly 40 percent from the previous year. The predictions are that this figure could double further for 2007.
The UAE’s exports to Ireland increased by 38 percent in 2006 which included a 44 percent rise in manufactured metals and a 22 percent increase in electrical machinery. Among the many commodities imported by the UAE from Ireland are pharmaceuticals, which increased by more than 200 percent last year, as well as computers and telecommunications equipment.
Separately, Etihad has further expanded its network in India market with the launch of flights to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and Kochi (Cochin). Geert Boven, Etihad’s executive vice president sales and services, said that Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad were “in the airline’s sights”, while major cities in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu could be added as well.
Des Vertannes, executive vice president cargo, Etihad Airways said: “With a population of one billion people and the world’s second fastest growing economy, Indian destinations are high in demand – both passenger and cargo wise. The flights to Trivandrum and Cochin have filled up rapidly in the first few days. We anticipate high load factors on both sectors.” In addition to passenger services between the UAE and India, Etihad Crystal Cargo also operates its A300- 600 freighters to Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.