Exactly 13 years after it first connected Abu Dhabi to Moscow, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, launched its inaugural flight to the new state-of-the-art International Terminal C at Moscow Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport (SVO).
Operated by a 787 Dreamliner, Flight EY63 departed Abu Dhabi International Airport at 9.35am and landed in Moscow at 2.25pm on 2 December, where it was greeted with a welcoming ceremony including and a delegation of government ministers, the UAE Ambassador to Russia and senior SVO executives. The return flight back to Abu Dhabi, EY64, departed Moscow to similar fanfare at 3.50pm.
The delegation was led by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Jaber, UAE Ambassador to Russia, Tony Douglas, Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group; Ali Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism & Marketing at DCT; and Mikhail Vasilenko, General Director of SVO Airport.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “After 13 years connecting our two capital cities, we’re delighted to introduce the 787 on this route and move to Russia’s newest and most sophisticated airport, providing better connectivity for guests between Abu Dhabi and Moscow in support of our objective to grow trade and tourism opportunities between our two countries.
“Supported by an increased daily flight schedule providing Russian holiday makers and business travellers with even more opportunity to visit the UAE, this is the start of a new phase in relations building on the strong economic ties between Moscow and Abu Dhabi.”
To complement the move to SVO, Etihad continues to work with Aeroflot to enhance and develop its partnership, including the launch of codeshare services across the respective networks, and exploring other areas of cooperation to enhance guest benefits.
UAE citizens are able to obtain an entry visa to Russia on arrival, while Russian citizens are able to enter the UAE and obtain a visa on arrival valid for 30 days free of charge, which can be extended for a further 30 days for a fee.