Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has launched its first-ever scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Guangzhou. The inaugural flight, EY868, departed Abu Dhabi last night after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by representatives from the Chinese Embassy to the UAE, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Miral Asset Management and Etihad Aviation Group.
The flight touched down at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport this morning at 10:25 (local time), making Etihad the first international airline to operate long-haul passenger services to the top three Chinese gateways – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou – since the start of the pandemic.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have been tremendously excited about the launch of this service. Guangzhou is actually the latest destination to be opened in China by Etihad since the launch of the Abu Dhabi–Shanghai route back in 2012. It will continue to help build a solid air bridge for commerce and cultural exchanges between China and the UAE.
“We are very grateful for the support from both governments, business partners and our Etihad team, as our new service to Guangzhou will not only further address the huge demand for passenger travel between the UAE and China, building on the formidable people and business ties between the two markets, but also support the increasing consolidation and strengthening of Etihad’s presence in China and the global aviation industry. It also reinforces the airline’s commitment to serving the Chinese market.”
To highlight Guangzhou’s reputation as “the spiritual home of Cantonese cuisine”, and to appreciate the cultural diversity within Etihad’s in-house hospitality team, the event offered a tapestry of cuisines, consisting of several signature dim sum and Arabic-style canapés jointly created by Etihad Airways Chef Murray Reason and Capital Hospitality Executive Chef Imad Soboh. The evening gave a glimpse into the fascinating culinary experiences every business and leisure traveller can enjoy on board Etihad flights.
Flight EY868 marks the launch of scheduled services between Abu Dhabi and Guangzhou, growing Etihad’s network to 67 destinations across 45 countries. The new twice-weekly service will be operated via a two-class Boeing 777.