Abu Dhabi Airports welcomes Athens-based Aegean Airlines as first flight lands

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed last week the first arrival of Aegean Airline s first commercial flight from Athens, the capital of Greece.

The aircraft, a 168 seat Airbus A320, was given a water cannon salute at touchdown, an airport tradition in the aviation industry when a new airline starts services.

The new service will operate four flights per week, with Aegean Airlines flight A3 0942 departing from Athens at 1900 and arriving at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 0030. On the return, flight A3 0943 departs from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 0200, arriving in Athens at 0600. The flights operate directly between Athens and Abu Dhabi using an A320 aircraft with a two class configuration.

Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports welcomes Aegean Airlines to Abu Dhabi International Airport as we look to strengthen our links with major European cities. We are glad that Aegean Airlines has chosen Abu Dhabi International Airport as a connection between Europe and the Middle East, reinforcing the capital s position as an international aviation hub. Abu Dhabi Airports looks forward to offering its world-class services to yet another strategic airline partner.” Aegean Airlines, which was awarded in 2013 the Skytrax award for the best regional airline in Europe, announced last year that it would enter a codeshare agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. The Greek air carrier will add its A3 code to Etihad s flights to Bahrain, Kuwait, Johannesburg, Sydney, Melbourne and from June, Perth in Australia.

Similarly, Etihad Airways will add its EY code to Aegean flights from Athens to 16 destinations in Europe.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, CEO of Aegean Airlines, said: “We have taken the strategic decision to enhance our presence in the wider Gulf area and through our partnership with Etihad Airways, we are now in a position to offer enhanced connection possibilities and premium services to our clients. I am confident Greek tourism and businesses will benefit significantly from this development, as will Abu Dhabi, the capital of the U.A.E., and one of the world s leading business and tourism destinations.”