Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is increasing its presence in Morocco with the launch of a new twice-weekly service between Abu Dhabi and Rabat to create a direct link between the two capitals.
Scheduled to start on 15 January 2016, and providing the only scheduled air link between the UAE and Rabat, the new service will be operated on Wednesdays and Fridays using an A340-500 aircraft configured to carry a total of 240 passengers, with 12 in First Class, 28 in Business Class, and 200 in Economy Class.
The new service is Etihad Airways’ second destination in Morocco and complements its existing daily service to Casablanca. This brings to nearly 4,200 the total number of seats available to passengers travelling on Etihad Airways’ services between the UAE and Morocco each week.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our service to Casablanca has performed strongly since it was launched in June 2006 and I am delighted to build on this success with the introduction of the additional service to Rabat.
“The new service provides passengers with more choice and two-way connectivity between Morocco and the UAE, and onwards over our hub in Abu Dhabi to key destinations across our global network in the GCC, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.
“We remain committed to building sustainable ties in the North African region and deepening the strong relationship between Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.”
The UAE and Morocco are united by a long history of cooperation and the growth of economic and trade relations between the two countries has developed significantly over recent years, with major UAE exports to Morocco including petrochemicals, metals, foodstuff products, transport equipment, tools and appliances.
Like the UAE, the Moroccan Government has made significant investments in the development of its tourism industry. In 2010 the government launched its Vision 2020 which includes plans to make Morocco one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world and double the number of international arrivals into Morocco to 20 million per annum by 2020.
Etihad Airways is able to extend its reach across North Africa through its codeshare agreement with Royal Air Maroc, providing passengers with direct flights from Casablanca to destinations throughout Morocco, including Agadir, Marrakech, and Tangier.
Etihad Airways also operates scheduled services to nine other destinations in Africa, including: Johannesburg, Khartoum, Casablanca, Cairo, Lagos, Nairobi, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam (from I December 2015) and Mahé in the Seychelles.