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Etihad Regional takes to the skies

Published: 28/01/2014 - Filed under: News »

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Eithad Regional operated its first commercial flight, from Geneva to Rome, at the weekend.

A newly-branded 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft flew between the airline's Geneva hub and Rome Fiumicino Airport on Sunday morning.

New cabin interiors and crew uniforms were showcased at a launch event earlier this month (see news, January 16).

Etihad Regional maiden flight

Etihad Regional's first flight comes into land at Rome Fiumicino Airport

Etihad Regional's new livery is expected to be painted on all ten of its aircraft by the end of June. The new carrier is operated by Darwin Airline.

Maurizio Merlo, CEO of Darwin Airline, said: "We are thrilled that Etihad Regional's first flight was operated on this critical route linking the two important cities of Geneva and Rome.

"I am confident that this is the beginning of a very successful collaboration, which will benefit the customers of both airlines. Etihad Regional will gain significant connectivity opportunities, an improved brand experience, and benefit from the experience of Etihad Airways."

etihadregional.com

Graham Smith

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COMMENTS » 

Prakton - 28/01/2014 12:13

This is just the start for Darwin and Etihad starting a codeshare with Etihad as part owners. What are the real intentions of Etihad ? Time will tell. I would assume this is one way to enter from the backdoor and slowly expand regional routes over European routes and use it as feeder to Etihad flights to there European hubs as feeder service to rest of the world.

sn26567 - 28/01/2014 14:46

This is largely the result of SWISS abandoning Geneva Airport, leaving the door wide open for foreign airlines to fill the void.

JohnnyFox - 30/01/2014 11:17

Pretty obvious that GVA doesn't have the traffic to justify direct daily services to Etihad's AUH hub, so this is a nifty way of collecting some additional load onto its undersold Rome flights.

Expect more of it to/from other second-tier cities in similar circumstances, but doubt with its standards Etihad would be trying to establish a European regional airline with a bunch of leased turboprops.

pmartin1 - 31/01/2014 13:11

A couple of comments: 1) Darwin's main hub was already in Geneva before the Eithad deal, and Rome has been a Darwin destination for a long time. 2) this has nothing to do with Swissair abandoning GVA - this is old news, and EasyJet has since then grabbed a 41% market share. LX is in fact rebuilding. 3) Etihad is doing quite well, and so do Emirates, Qatar and a myriad of airlines from the Middle East (SV, RJ, KU, MS, ME). This is a GVA strong point. 4) And by the way GVA's traffic was 14.4m PAX last year (96% O&D), more Montreal, Hamburg and at par with Auckland.

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