Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will begin services from its Abu Dhabi home-base to the South African city of Cape Town on 30 September 2009. The new Cape Town flights will operate via Etihad’s current daily, Airbus A330, service to South Africa’s commercial capital Johannesburg.
It will be Etihad’s second destination in South Africa and its fifth on the African continent, joining Khartoum, Cairo and Casablanca.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Etihad Airways is committed to expanding its flight network across the world and we are delighted to add flights to Cape Town to our schedule from September. In the coming 12 months demand for flights to South Africa will grow immensely, especially with the 2010 FIFA World Cup next summer.”
Etihad started flights to Johannesburg in December 2005 and it has since then established itself as one of the airline’s most successful destinations.
It is expected that the new Cape Town service will be welcomed by the South African expatriate community living in the UAE which now stands at approximately 40,000 people.
Many more South African nationals live across the Middle East region and also will be able to connect quickly and easily back home via Abu Dhabi. It is also anticipated that many leisure travellers will fly to Cape Town with Etihad’s new service.
The city is South Africa’s premier tourist destination offering many highlights including the iconic Table Mountain and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.