Etihad Airways’ flight EY298 touched down on schedule at Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport this morning, marking the start of the airline’s new four-times-per-week service between Abu Dhabi and the capital of the Republic of Armenia.
The new Abu Dhabi – Yerevan route is operated by a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, configured to carry 136 passengers, with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class, offering a total of 1,088 seats per week.
Marcelo Wende, Chief Executive Officer, Zvartnots International Airport, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the arrival of the first flight, and disembarking guests were presented with a special commemorative certificate and welcomed with traditional Armenian “Gata” sweet pastries.
James Mueller, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President, Global Sales, said the new flights catered for the significant and growing demand for travel between the UAE and Armenia, as well as cities with large Armenian populations around the world, particularly in the US – home to over 1.5 million people from the Armenian diaspora.
“Yerevan is a welcome addition to Etihad Airways’ growing network of destinations and reinforces our firm commitment to emerging markets.
“But more importantly, Etihad Airways’ new flights also provide business and leisure travellers better access to and from Armenia, and convenient connections beyond our Abu Dhabi hub to the Gulf region and to key destinations in North America and across our global network.”
Etihad Airways currently flies daily to Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC, and twice daily to New York. Direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Dallas Fort Worth will start from 3 December.
Sergey Avetisyan, Deputy Minister of Economy for the Republic of Armenia, said: “In the framework of the Open Skies policy adopted by the Government of the Republic of Armenia, we welcome Etihad Airways to Armenia and are confident its new service to Yerevan will contribute to inbound tourism and stimulate economic and commercial ties between the UAE and Armenia.”
Trade between the UAE and Armenia has grown significantly over recent years, making the UAE one of Armenia’s main trading partners, and its largest in the Gulf region.
“The new service builds on the existing flights between Armenia and the UAE, by providing access to the airline’s hub in Abu Dhabi, and the opportunity of developing greater commercial links and trade between Armenia and key business partners around the world.” he added.
Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the cultural, economic and political heart of the country, with a population of more than a million. It’s also the largest city of Armenia and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities – known as the “City of the Sun and Light” and famous for its vibrant nightlife, buzzing arts scene, cafe culture and Mediterranean mind-set.