Etihad Airways has commenced non-stop flights from its home base in Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Greeted by a traditional water cannon salute on arrival, EY 23 touched down on schedule at the North Rhine Westphalia airport at 6:25am local time Friday.
The airline will initially operate four weekly return services to Dusseldorf, rising to a daily operation already in April 2012.
The route is being served by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, in a three-class configuration, offering eight Diamond First Class suites, 32 seats in Pearl Business class and 191 seats in Coral Economy class.
Speaking in Dusseldorf, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner said: “Germany is a strategically important market for Etihad Airways.
Baumgartner added: “We have carried more than 1.7 million passengers to and from Germany since we started flights to Munich back in 2004, and now we operate 25 weekly services to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. Dusseldorf was a logical step in growing our European passenger operations. By growing direct point to point traffic between the two cities, we also look forward to strengthening business and leisure ties between the capital of the UAE and Germany.”
A key benefit to travelers of the new non-stop Abu Dhabi-Düsseldorf service is convenient flight arrival and departure times and network connectivity at the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub.
Mohammed Ahmed Al-Mahmood, UAE ambassador to Germany, congratulated Etihad Airways and Dusseldorf Airport on the launch of services from the UAE capital to Düsseldorf.
The envoy said: “Etihad Airways’ new route to Düsseldorf will enhance industrial relations and promote economic cooperation, trade and tourism between the UAE and Germany.”
Christoph Blume, CEO of Düsseldorf International Airport, said: "Due to the economic power and the central location of both destinations in two major regions of the world, we are certain of the potential and the long-term nature of the new connection between Abu Dhabi and Düsseldorf.”