Demand for Etihad Airways’ new Sao Paulo flight continues to grow as air travellers take advantage of the airline’s world class service and product, and flight connections from its Abu Dhabi hub, James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer said today.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its non-stop three flights per week service between Sao Paulo, its first destination in South America, and Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, on 1 June.
Mr Hogan said: “Our services to Sao Paulo provide the first direct air link between the commercial centres of Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi, which support the growing economic, tourism and trade relations between Brazil and the UAE.
“Current and forward bookings for our flights demonstrate the clear demand that exists from business and leisure travel segments for this service. Brazilian air travellers also clearly appreciate the warmth and hospitality onboard Etihad Airways’ flights.”
Etihad Airways now connects Brazil-based air travellers, via Abu Dhabi, with popular destinations across the Arabian Gulf, North Africa and the Levant, as well as further east in China and Japan and across Asia.
Building upon its reputation of connecting communities around the world, Etihad Airways will provide a strong link for the Japanese population in Sao Paulo, the largest Japanese community outside Japan, flying to Nagoya and Tokyo.
Furthermore demand is already strong from the Arab community in Sao Paulo, predominantly made up by residents of Syrian and Lebanese descent, who can now fly to the UAE, Arabian Gulf and Levant with Etihad Airways.
Connections to these destinations, which have strong cultural and historical ties with Brazil, will be strengthened further from 27 October as the Etihad Airways operation moves to daily flights. Currently flights operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
HE Sultan Rashed Al Kaitoob, UAE ambassador to Brazil, said: “These direct flights by Etihad Airways will create new opportunities for government, trade and tourism between both countries to develop and flourish.”
“Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and offers a wide array of opportunities for trade and investment. It is also currently the UAE’s 17th largest trading partner with bilateral trade between the two countries valued at US$2.85 billion and both governments hope to increase this to US$10 billion within five years.”
HE João de Mendonça Lima Neto, the Brazilian Ambassador to the UAE said: “The Brazilian Government welcomes Etihad Airways’ decision to start direct flights linking Abu Dhabi to São Paulo. This initiative will strengthen our bilateral ties, contributing to the promotion of trade, investment and tourism.
“The UAE is a vibrant, rapidly diversifying economy, offering a wealth of opportunities for trade and investment that cannot be overlooked by Brazilian businessmen. Moreover, the UAE’s strategic location, between Asia, Europe and Africa and its solid and modern infrastructure, constitutes a vital gateway to the countries in those continents.
“As for tourism, Brazilians will find in the UAE, and in Abu Dhabi in particular, first class hotels, restaurants and shopping malls and unsurpassed leisure activities,” he said.
Etihad Airways serves the Abu Dhabi – Sao Paulo, route with ultra-long range Airbus A340-500 aircraft, seating 240 passengers in a spacious three-class cabin – 12 in Diamond First Class, 28 in Pearl Business Class, and 200 in Coral Economy Class.
Extending its capability, Etihad Cargo’s newly announced round-the-world freighter routing, in conjunction with Atlas Air Worldwide, includes the Brazilian city of Viracopos.