Etihad Airways is adding year-round flights between its Abu Dhabi hub and both Cairo and Lagos later this year to cater to growing demand to and from the United Arab Emirates.
A new Saturday flight to Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, beginning December 2, 2017, adds to the weekend travel option, increasing frequency from four to five services each week, and offering greater flexibility and convenience to local travellers.
The early morning service from Abu Dhabi and return mid-morning flight departing Lagos will also ensure convenient connections to and from Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Popular feeder cities include Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur.
A fifth daily scheduled service will also be introduced on the Cairo route, effective October 1, 2017, taking frequency to the Egyptian capital up from 28 to 35 flights a week. The new mid-morning departure from Abu Dhabi and return afternoon service out of Cairo will offer local guests in each market additional choice travelling between the two capital cities.
During the upcoming peak travel months, Etihad Airways will cater to demand with additional frequency on the Cairo route before making the fifth daily service permanent in October. The new service will also provide convenient connections in Abu Dhabi to and from key cities in North and South Asia, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
On the back of Nigeria and Egypt's resurging economies, the airline sees the frequency increases to both markets as timely to provide guests with greater choice.
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Egypt totalled $400 million last year. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in Egypt is expected to be 3.5 per cent this year, rising to 4.5 per cent in 2018. And tourist arrivals into Egypt are forecast to increase from last year's level of 5 million to 5.4m this year, and further to almost 6m in 2018.
Nigeria's GDP growth rate is expected to more than double from 0.83 per cent this year to 1.9 per cent in 2018 largely due to the expanding manufacturing, financial and IT sectors that are helping fuel demand for more international air capacity.
Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki, said: "Cairo is the largest point to point market from Abu Dhabi enjoying an increase in tourist traffic to Egypt. Our additional flights demonstrate the importance of the strong historic ties between the UAE and Egypt, and our continued support of the growth of bilateral trade and Egypt's tourism industry.