Etihad Airways launched its first ever scheduled flights on 28 November linking its hub in Abu Dhabi with Barcelona – part of a new five-weekly Airbus A330-200 route.
The route will initially operate five times a week but be expanded to a daily operation from 31 March 2019 and it complements a daily service to Madrid from Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Aviation Group chief executive officer, Tony Douglas said: “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.”
The carrier said 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.
Etihad Airways operates an extensive codeshare partnership with Air Europa allowing guests a seamless transfer with the Spanish airline’s services between Barcelona and Madrid. It also codeshares with Air Europa beyond Madrid to 19 cities in Europe, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.