Etihad's new Barcelona-Abu Dhabi route debuts
Five weekly flights between the two capitals to be extended to seven from April
The first flight on the new route from Barcelona to Abu Dhabi from the Etihad airline was all ready for take-off on Wednesday morning.
The flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will run five flights a week from the Catalan capital, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Etihad also confirmed that it intends to expand the number of flights for the route to seven every week, from April next year.
"An opportunity for our economy"
The Catalan territory minister, Damià Calvet, welcomed the new direct link between Catalonia and Asia, which he called "the world's factory."
"This new route brings us a 'super hub' of the Middle East and links us better with Asia. That is an opportunity for our economy," he added.
"Our task is to be able to create an offer of direct flights for the current 4.5 million people using indirect intercontinental flights"
Damià Calvet · Catalan territory minister
According to Calvet, this is one result of his department’s effort to have as many direct intercontinental flights as possible.
“Our task is to be able to create an offer of direct flights for the current 4.5 million people using indirect intercontinental flights,” he added.
Etihad Airways’ CEO, Tony Douglas, said that the new route is an important one for the company, as it links two “fantastic” cities.
He also claimed it is “a winner route,” although he did not unveil the estimated passengers in the first year of the new route.