Etihad Airways outlines South American expansion plans

18/09/2012 - Dubai Investment News Posted by Neil King
Etihad Airways outlines South American expansion plans

There are many reasons for investors to pour money into the UAE, but one of the country's biggest selling points is its accessibility. Airlines are falling over themselves in the race to provide services that link the Middle East with all four corners of the planet. Etihad Airways is one of the biggest carriers in the world and it continues to add new flights to the UAE. Bosses at the firm have outlined new plans to expand in South America, as the demand for services between Brazil and the Middle East grows further. Like the UAE, Brazil's economy has grown astronomically in recent years and leaders at Etihad feel it is important that the two nations are accessible to businesspeople in each country. Etihad currently has 38 codeshare partnerships with airlines around the world, which cover 323 destinations. Earlier this month it struck a deal with RAK Airways, which will see Etihad place its EY code on the airline's flights between Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi. The carrier will also launch its first route in South America on June 1st 2013, with daily non-stop flights between Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi. President and chief executive officer at the organisation James Hogan said that other commercial partnerships with South American firms are in the pipeline. "According to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Brazil trade volumes with the Arab world grew by 28 per cent in 2011 to reach US$25 billion. This is forecasted to grow by a further ten to 15 per cent this year," he remarked. "With some of the fastest connecting flight times to China and Japan, Brazil's largest and fifth largest trade partner, respectively, Etihad Airways is providing vital air links between the world's major emerging markets," Mr Hogan added. These are exciting times for investors who are looking for new opportunities in the Middle East and it is clear that the likes of Etihad are going the extra mile to boost the UAE's accessibility.