By James Wilkinson
Etihad Airways has added Melbourne to its global route network following the launch of flights to the Victorian capital from Abu Dhabi on Monday (Mar 30).
Etihad’s F1-themed Airbus A340-600
Melbourne is the third Australian destination for the Abu Dhabi-based airline following the successful launches of flights from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane and Sydney over the past two years.
Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan said the Middle East is emerging as a new focal point of global aviation and a natural air bridge between east and west.
“Abu Dhabi is an important hub and is fast becoming the preferred stopover for many Australians as a gateway to the rest of the world and allows air travellers to reach destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East,” Hogan said.
“We have made a major investment to develop and extend our operations in Australia, to allow access to a host of new routes.Our daily flights from Melbourne will provide convenience and choice for business and leisure travellers on one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world today.”
The route is being flown by an Airbus A340-600, configured to carry 292 passengers in three cabins – first, business and economy.
Hogan said the new route demonstrated Etihad’s commitment to the Australian market, which is an important and rapidly growing market for the airline.
“As a Melburnian, I am proud of the investment Etihad has made in the Melbourne community,” he said.
“During the last few weeks, we have seen the new Etihad Stadium host several major sporting events and we have supported the Australian Grand Prix through our Ferrari F1 sponsorship.”