Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said it won the right to fly to Australia from its base in the United Arab Emirates.
Gulf Arab states, reaping a windfall from a tripling in oil prices since 2001, are expanding their airlines and using their Middle East hubs to carry more passengers and cargo between Europe and Asia. That is boosting competition for rivals such as Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways, Ltd.
Etihad’s Australia flights will begin in the next few months, the government-owned carrier said in a statement. It did not give more details.
“Our service will significantly drive and support the development of trade and tourism between the UAE and Australia,” Etihad Chief Executive James Hogan is quoted as saying in the statement.
Etihad, which started in 2003, competes with Dubai-based Emirates and Qatar Airways. The carrier, which flies to 47 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, operates 21 aircraft and has 25 more on order. (Reuters)