Etihad Begins Flights From Abu Dhabi To Maldives
Maldives Promotion House– Etihad Airways’ first flight to Malé touched down to a colourful welcome in the capital of the Republic of the Maldives this afternoon.
EY flight 278 was honoured with a traditional water cannon salute and the 146 passengers were greeted by local Bodu beru (big drum) dancers and singers performing on the tarmac.
Forward bookings for the daily Airbus A320 service indicate the route is already becoming one of the most popular in the airline’s global network.
“This is a very exciting day for Etihad Airways and we are thrilled to add another new destination, particularly one that is so important to the leisure traveller,” Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Hogan, said.
“We look forward to developing strong ties between the UAE and the Maldives and take our responsibility to bring more people to this part of the world very seriously.
“It is such a highly desirable destination for our customers, not only from Abu Dhabi but also from Europe,” Mr Hogan said.
Etihad Airways’ schedule offers an attractive afternoon arrival and evening departure and European travellers can take advantage of overnight flights in both directions, offering them a full extra day in the Maldives.
Simon Hawkins, Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) said: “On the behalf of our tourism industry, the business community and the whole domestic population we are delighted to welcome Etihad Airways to the Maldives.
“As the world’s premium island beach destination, we are highly dependent on the connectivity from the international airlines. To have a premium airline providing such a high frequency and quality of service as Etihad Airways is tremendously important for us.”
“At a time when the Maldives is recording its highest numbers of visitors and reaching new markets, this is fundamental to our continued economic growth. We very much look forward to a long and healthy partnership with Etihad Airways for many years to come,” Mr Hawkins said.
Their inaugural flight was celebrated with a cocktail party at Naladhu Maldives, a super luxury resort located in South Malé Atoll. The launching party was attended by senior members of Etihad Airways management team, international and local tour operators, media and industry partners.