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Etihad adds Brazil service

Etihad Airways has announced plans to launch service to Brazil — the airline’s first destination in South America. James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, said that: “Brazil is a logical next step for us and will mark the sixth continent we serve and our coming of age as a truly global airline.” Daily flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil will begin in June, 2013. The service will be the first direct air link between Abu Dhabi and any South American country and will mean Etihad Airways serves all of the BRIC high growth nations. “Business and tourism flows between the United Arab Emirates and Brazil have been growing and will be strengthened by our daily direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo,” Hogan said in announcing the new service. Brazil is currently the UAE’s fourth largest trading partner with bi-lateral trade between the two countries valued at US$2.85 billion. Authorities hope to lift this to US$10 billion within five years. There are 25 major Brazilian companies with offices in Abu Dhabi, and the UAE buys sugar, soya beans, meat, aircraft, heavy oils, tractors and construction vehicles from the South American country. Exports from the UAE to Brazil include oil rigs, aviation fuel, steel, aluminium goods and plastics. Etihad will begin service on June 1, 2013 using a three class A340-600 aircraft, offering 12 Diamond First class, 32 Pearl Business class and 248 Coral Economy seats – a total 2,044 seats per week. So far in 2012, the carrier has announced the launch of non-stop daily flights to Washington, D.C., Basra, Lagos, Addis Ababa, the Indian city of Ahmedabad and Vietnam. The addition of these new destinations is part of the airline’s 10-year network growth plan which will see Etihad Airways fly to up to 100 destinations with a fleet of more than 150 aircraft by 2020. Go to http://www.etihadairways.com for more.

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