Etihad maindeck to Moscow as Putin threatens overflight ban

The twice weekly dedicated cargo service will operate using an A330-200F freighter, with a capacity of 64 tonnes.

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Etihad Cargo has launched, from today, twice weekly freighter rotations linking Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Moscow Domodedovo (DME) airports. The dedicated cargo service will operate every Wednesday and Friday using an A330-200F freighter, with a capacity of 64 tonnes. The move comes as Europe and the US step up sanctions on Russia over its support for pro-Russian rebels within the Ukraine, and the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines MH17. Those sanctions have provoked threats of retaliation by Russian president Vladimir Putin including a total or partial ban on overflights over Siberia enroute to Asia.

Kevin Knight, chief strategy and planning officer at Etihad Airways, said:  “Russia is a key market for Etihad Cargo and our new freighter service will allow us to capitalise on the growing trade between Russia and the UAE. The UAE is home to almost 25,000 Russians, 400 Russia-UAE joint venture companies and we believe this new cargo routing will complement our existing bellyhold operations to and from Moscow.

“Furthermore, by offering heavy uplift maindeck capability for the first time to the Russian capital, and linking this with our existing cargo operations in Abu Dhabi, customers now have more choice for transporting larger goods to what is one of the largest markets in the world.”

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