MIDDLE EAST: Etihad expands network to Turkey

Etihad Airways is expanding its European services with the addition of its latest new route to Istanbul in Turkey. Turkey’s commercial capital will initially be served four times a week from 2 June, expanding to five flights a week from October. The addition of Istanbul will bring to 13 the number of European cities served […]


Etihad Airways is expanding its European services with the addition of its latest new route to Istanbul in Turkey. Turkey’s commercial capital will initially be served four times a week from 2 June, expanding to five flights a week from October.

The addition of Istanbul will bring to 13 the number of European cities served by Etihad. The new destination will increase the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s global flight network to 54 cities and follows confirmation that Etihad will also begin flights to Melbourne and Athens during 2009.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Istanbul represents our second confi rmed new European destination to be launched in 2009 and demonstrates the increasing importanceof this market to our airline.

“Trade links between the UAE and Turkey have grown substantially in recent years and we anticipate strong demand between these two important commercial centres. The new route will also provide convenient onward connections to some of the well-established Turkish communities served by our global network, notably Sydney and Melbourne.”

There are estimated to be around 6,000 Turkish expatriates currently living and working in the UAE, mainly in the construction, engineering, financial and tourism sectors.

The volume of trade between the UAE and Turkey grew by 400 per cent from US$700 million (Dh2.57bn) in 2002 to US$3.7 billion (Dh13.6bn) in 2007. The UAE currently has investments of more than US $4 billion (Dh14.7bn) in Turkey, while Turkey has committed US$40 billion (Dh147bn) in investments to the UAE within the next four years.