airberlin starts flights from Berlin to Abu Dhabi

15.01.2012
On Sunday evening, Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO of airberlin, officially launched the new flights between the German capital and Abu Dhabi together with Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, Dr. Manfred A. Körtgen, COO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmood, Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates in Berlin and Werner Rothenbaecher, Senior Vice President Technical of Etihad Airways.
airberlin now operates four weekly non-stop flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays) from Berlin to Abu Dhabi using Airbus A330-200s. The new connection also marks the start of the codeshare agreement between the two carriers, which initially covers selected flights in the network of both airlines.

"The strategic partnership with Etihad Airways not only opens up unique opportunities for the future for airberlin, it also brings a number of benefits for our passengers in terms of access to new routes – including our new year-round non-stop connection to Abu Dhabi. This flight is integrated in Etihad's hub structure in Abu Dhabi, enabling us to offer excellent connecting flights, e.g. to Asia and Australia. Passengers arriving from Abu Dhabi can benefit from the numerous connecting flights offered by airberlin, both to destinations in Germany and also to Austria, Scandinavia or Switzerland. This makes the connection equally appealing to business travellers and holidaymakers", said Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO of airberlin, who also took inaugural flight AB7494 to Abu Dhabi.

"The strategic partnership between airberlin and Etihad not only benefits both carriers, but also Berlin as an air traffic location. The new connection to Abu Dhabi is important in establishing Berlin not only as a European hub, but also as a global hub. Connections from the German capital to the United Arab Emirates, Asia and Australia will also be further improved as a result," said Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin.

"The partnership between Etihad Airways and airberlin will strengthen bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates and Germany and will greatly promote the economic cooperation as well as the trade, cultural and tourist exchanges between Abu Dhabi and this special part of Germany. It opens up new possibilities for the future of both airlines. Abu Dhabi will become airberlin's new gateway to Asia and Australia while the partnership with airberlin will give Etihad Airways access to the vast East European market and millions of new passengers and thus a promising opportunity for global growth. The non-stop flight between our two capitals will help to create new bonds and ties between our people and will enrich the strategic partnership between our countries", said Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmood, Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates in Berlin.

Etihad Airways' President and CEO, James Hogan said: "This flight marks a key milestone in our new partnership with airberlin. We are delighted, through this partnership, to link the capital cities of Germany – a key market for Etihad Airways – and the United Arab Emirates. We are looking forward to strengthening our ties with airberlin as we work closely over the coming months to explore opportunities to bring the benefits of our partnership to our customers." Hogan will welcome the airberlin delegation and aircraft to Abu Dhabi.

Dr Manfred A Körtgen, COO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, said: "With the new long-haul flight to Abu Dhabi, Berlin is now even better connected with the world. airberlin's commitment to Berlin as a location clearly shows that air traffic in the German capital and surrounding region is a growth market. By entering into partnership with Etihad Airways and joining the global airline alliance oneworld, airberlin is gradually further expanding its network. The opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport in just under five months will offer the airlines unique opportunities for growth: as the only European airport, BER is capable of nearly doubling its air traffic capacities."

Tickets can be booked online at airberlin.com, through the Service Centre (tel. +49 1805 737-800; €0.14/min. from a German landline, max. €0.42 min. from a mobile phone) or at a travel agents.

About airberlin

airberlin is Germany's second-largest airline. The company has 9,200 employees. In 2010 alone, airberlin received more than 10 awards for service and quality. Its fleet comprises 170 aircraft with an average age of five years. airberlin has one of the youngest fleets in Europe. Its modern fuel-efficient jets ensure a lasting reduction in air traffic emissions. As one of the major European airlines, airberlin flies to 171 destinations in 45 countries. In 2011, the airline carried more than 35 million passengers. airberlin has signed up for membership to the global airline alliance oneworld®. Full membership is planned for early 2012. airberlin offers codeshare flights with oneworld® members American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Malév, Royal Jordanian and S7. In December 2011, airberlin entered into a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways

About Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, started operations in 2003 and transported more than seven million passengers in 2010. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad operates a fleet of 63 Airbuses and Boeings to 82 cities in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Etihad Airways has also ordered 100 aircraft, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world's biggest passenger aircraft. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
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