Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is adding Serbia’s capital Belgrade and Yemen’s capital Sana’a as new destinations this summer.
Etihad Airways is launching daily non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade on June 15 and will begin four-times-weekly service to Sana’a on September 1.
Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier, will place its ‘JU’ flight code on Etihad’s new Abu Dhabi-Belgrade flights and on the Abu Dhabi carrier’s flights to 21 other destinations.
In return Etihad Airways will place its ‘EY’ flight code on Jat Airways’ flights to 23 European cities. The mutual codeshare agreement between the two airlines is subject to government and regulatory approval.
Etihad Airways will operate two-cabin Airbus A319 jets on its Abu Dhabi-Belgrade service. Each A319 is configured to carry 106 passengers, with 16 seats in Pearl Business Class and 90 seats in Coral Economy Class.
The carrier’s schedule for the route will see flight EY71 leaving Abu Dhabi International Airport (IATA code AUH) daily at 8:35 a.m. from June 15 and reaching Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG) at 12:15 p.m. local time.
In the other direction, flight EY72 will depart BEG at 1:00 p.m. and arive at AUH at 8:20 pm. local time. The outbound and inbound flights will each be around five and a half hours in duration.
“The launch of Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, and the partnership development with Jat Airways, will cater for the significant and growing demand for air travel between the UAE and Serbia, as well as cities with large Serbian populations around the world, particularly in Australia and the U.S.,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer.
Etihad Airways plans to offer seamless connectivity between its Belgrade service and the airline’s flights linking Abu Dhabi with Melbourne and Sydney. Currently there are more than 100,000 Australian citizens of Serbian ancestry, mostly residing in Melbourne and Sydney, according to Etihad.
As part of the codeshare agreement, subject to government and regulatory approval, Jat Airways will place its ‘JU’ code on Etihad Airways’ flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond to Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Islamabad, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, New York, Melbourne, Seychelles, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
In return, subject to government and regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its ‘EY’ code on Jat Airways’ flights linking Belgrade with Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Rome, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Heathrow, Larnaca, Milan, Moscow, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Vienna and Zurich.
JatAirways will also place its flight code on a number of the flights operated by Etihad Airways’ equity partner Airberlin. A highlight of this arrangement will be the provision of a direct link for passengers traveling from Belgrade, via Berlin, to Chicago in the U.S.
The capital of Illinois has the second largest Serbian population of any city in the world, with an estimated 200,000 Serb nationals living in Chicago, and up to 500,000 residents of Serb origin.
Belgrade will become the third of six new destinations to be served by Etihad Airways in 2013, following the launch in March of flights to Washington, D.C., and in May to Amsterdam.
Etihad Airways will launch then launch direct flights to Yemen’s political and commercial capital Sana’a on September 1.
Sana’a will be the airline’s eighth destination on the Arabian Peninsula beyond Abu Dhabi, joining Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait, Muscat and Riyadh. Etihad’s flights to Sana’a will operate four times a week.
More than 90,000 Yemeni nationals live in the UAE, which is Yemen’s largest regional trading partner. Annual trade between the two countries is valued at over $2 billion, of which $1.6 billion is made up of UAE exports, according to a recent report by the Yemeni Ministry of Industry & Trade.
Overall, the UAE accounts for almost 20 per cent of Yemen’s total imports, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Etihad will operate the Abu Dhabi-Sana’a route with two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, each seating 16 seats in Pearl Business Class and 120 seats in Coral Economy Class.
Flights on the route can be booked from April 15 and the new Sana’a schedule is designed to provide seamless connections over Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub to key European, North American, Gulf Cooperative Council and Middle East destinations.
Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi-Sana’a flight schedule will see flight EY561 departing AUH at 10:45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from September 1 and touching down at Sana’a International Airport (SAH, also known as El Rahaba Airport) at 12:10 a.m. the following morning, local time.
In the other direction, flight EY560 is timed to depart SAH at 3.20 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and to touch down at AUH at 6.50 a.m. local time.
Etihad will also begin new services will commence later this year to São Paulo in Brazil and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.