Etihad Airways said “hola” to Barcelona for the very first time this morning, when the carrier launched the virgin flight of its new service from Abu Dhabi to the capital of Spain’s Catalan region.
The new route will initially be operated five times a week by a two-class Airbus A330-200 before becoming a daily operation from 31 March 2019.
Famous for the striking architecture of Antoni Gaudi; whose idiosyncratic and dramatic buildings can be found dotted throughout Barcelona; its eponymous all-conquering football team and the eight white-sand beaches which line its coastline are just some of the factors that have contributed to making it one of the world’s most visited cities.
The number of visitors from the UAE to Spain has been rising rapidly, thanks in part to a successful Schengen visa waiver programme introduced for UAE nationals in 2015 not to mention an extensive tourism infrastructure, including 35 5-star hotels.
Channelling the artistic spirit of the destination, Etihad threw a special launch party at the historic Capella dels Angels, a sixteenth-century Gothic building (a style which Gaudi worked hard to perfect and surpass) now part of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), attended by leading figures from the local government, diplomats, media, corporate partners and travel trade.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer of the Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have been tremendously excited about the launch of this service and what better time to arrive here than the month Etihad celebrates its 15th anniversary.
“Commercial and cultural links between the UAE and the Catalonia region are flourishing and Etihad is honoured to play a pivotal role in facilitating and enhancing the growth of trade and the strong demand for tourism.
“This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world”
This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning of travellers, and now for the first time, Abu Dhabi, our amazing home, is accessible from Barcelona with regular non-stop flights, featuring Etihad’s acclaimed inflight hospitality.
“On behalf of the Etihad Aviation Group, I extend our sincere thanks to the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee for their invaluable support with the new service, the launch event, and for their genuine welcome.”
|EY 49||Abu Dhabi||0220||Barcelona||0715||Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun||Airbus A330-200|
|EY 50||Barcelona||1010||Abu Dhabi||2000||Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun||Airbus A330-200|