June 17, 2008

Etihad to Launch Minsk Service in August

Etihad to launch minsk service in august

Etihad Airways will become to the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus when the Abu Dhabi-based carrier launches its twice weekly flights to the country's capital, Minsk, on 5 August 2008.

The new air link is anticipated to boost significantly the trade links and investment ties between the UAE and Belarus with the volume of trade between the two countries standing at more than US $30-40 million (Dhs110-150 million) per year.

It also follows talks held in Abu Dhabi last year between His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' chief executive, said: "To make history as the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus is a great honour for Etihad Airways. We are extremely excited at the prospect of helping to strengthen further the trade ties between the two countries through the launch of our new Minsk service."

The announcement of the launch date coincides with a planned visit to Belarus by a high-level delegation of business leaders from the UAE to examine opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries.

His Excellency Vladimir Sulimsky, ambassador of the Republic of Belarus in the UAE, said: "We look forward to welcoming Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, to our capital city. There is a real appetite for business between our two countries which is sure to be boosted by the launch of this new, non-stop service between our two capital cities."

Etihad will serve Minsk with one of its new Airbus A319 aircraft every Tuesday and Thursday with a third weekly flight will be added every Saturday from October 2008. The A319 is configured to carry 104 passengers with 20 in business class and 84 in economy class.Flight EY061 will depart Abu Dhabi on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.45am and arrive in Minsk at 2.25pm the same day. The return flight, EY062, will depart Minsk on the same days at 3.15pm, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 9.40pm.

Located in Eastern Europe, Belarus borders Russia to the north and east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the north. Minsk is the largest city in the country, with a population of 1.8 million.

Most of Belarus' population of 9.85 million reside in the urban areas surrounding Minsk and other regional capitals. Minsk is the country's major industrial centre with more than 250 factories and manufacturing plants.

With a central location in the heart of Europe, a rich cultural heritage and stunning scenery, Belarus is also seeking to exploit its strong tourism potential. 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

Originally published by By Al-Bawaba Reporters.

(c) 2008 Al Bawaba. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.