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10th July, 2013.

Etihad Airways celebrates successful first year in Nigeria

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today celebrates the first anniversary of its services in Nigeria.

The airline commenced flights between Lagos and Abu Dhabi on July 1, 2012, operating six flights per week, with the frequency quickly increasing in March 2013 to a daily service as a result of its success on the route.

Maurice Phohleli, Etihad Airways' General Manager, Nigeria and West Africa, said "We have received a very positive response from the Nigerian market since launching our service a year ago.

"There is a huge amount of international interest and investment focused towards Nigeria. Our fast growing global route network continues to prove popular for the large numbers of international traders and the business community flying between West Africa and the United Arab Emirates, and the major cities in North and Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.

"We also continue to support the growing leisure market out of Nigeria with the introduction of a range of special products and services dedicated to Nigerian holiday travelers.

For example, our recently announced free 30-day UAE tourist visa and a special 50 per cent discount offer for children travelling with an accompanying adult," he said.

Etihad Airways' service, comprising a mix of morning and evening departures, is operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft configured to carry 22 Pearl Business Class and 240 Coral Economy Class guests.

The airline currently flies to eight destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Johannesburg, Khartoum, Casablanca, Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Tripoli and Mah' in the Seychelles.

Etihad Airways continues to expand its network across Africa, and recently announced a number of strategic partnerships.

In February 2013, the airline announced a commercial partnership agreement with Kenya Airways, which allows it to codeshare on Kenya Airways flights from its gateway hub in Nairobi to a number of key destinations across East, Central and West Africa.

Etihad Airways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South African Airways in May, allowing the two airlines to codeshare on each others' networks.

Etihad Airways will initially place its 'EY' code on flights from Johannesburg to nine South African Airways' destinations across South Africa.

In November 2012, Etihad Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways, re-introduced a weekly freighter service between Abu Dhabi and Lagos which was complemented with the addition of 16 new interline destinations across West Africa.

Etihad Airways has received global awards that reflect its position as one of the world's leading premium airline brands, including 'World's Leading Airline' at the World Travel Awards for the last four consecutive years.

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