Direct Riga-Abu Dhabi service takes-off with Airbaltic and Etihad Airways

Respective flag carriers airBaltic and Etihad Airways have marked the start of direct Riga-Abu Dhabi flights with a ceremony at Riga International Airport.

 Attended by the Latvian Prime Minister, government officials, airline executives, business leaders, travel agents and media, the event also officially kicked off a new Etihad Airways-airBaltic codeshare partnership.
 
From today airBaltic operates an Airbus A319 aircraft four times a week between the Latvian capital and Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub. The aircraft is configured with 14 seats in Business Class and 102 seats in Economy Class.
 
Etihad Airways has placed its ‘EY’ flight code on the new airBaltic operated service, and beyond to 15 cities including: Alesund, Barcelona, Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Oslo, Prague, Stavanger, Stockholm, Tallinn, Turku, Vienna and Vilnius.
 
Subject to regulatory approvals, airBaltic will soon place its ‘BT’ flight code on Etihad Airways flights beyond Abu Dhabi to Cairo, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Amman and Muscat.
 
Speaking at the launch, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Today marks the first time Riga has been linked by air with Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s fastest growing cities, and a global hub for our airBaltic’s codeshare partner Etihad Airways.
 
“This direct flight will open up a range of business and leisure opportunities, which hitherto never existed. It will support trade development between Latvia and the rest of the world, increase tourism in both directions, and result in a range of new connection options for customers of both airlines.”
 
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic, said: “Today’s event is about two airlines working together, using the strengths and opportunities of each carrier’s network, and putting an attractive travel proposition to our most important target – the customer.
 
“Working with Etihad Airways, we look forward to making this new route and the connectivity it offers over Riga and Abu Dhabi a great success, and we will continue to look at ways to expand our network in the future.”
 
Also present in Riga, Hareb Al Muhairy, Etihad Airways’ Vice President UAE, said: “Global reach is beyond the capacity of any single airline and our view is that progress must come through partnership. Today marks the official start of our partnership with airBaltic, and the first time we have been able to offer Riga as an Etihad Airways codeshare destination.
 
“Underpinning the route are growing commercial ties between the UAE and Latvia. The UAE is one of Latvia’s main trading partners in the Gulf region and in 2012 Latvia’s exports to the UAE reached EUR 72 million, 102 per cent up on 2011.”
 
“We very much look forward to welcoming airBaltic’s customers on our flights beyond Abu Dhabi to key destinations across the globe. Equally, I have full confidence that airBaltic extend their hospitality to our customers over Riga.”
 
Chairman of the Board Aldis Mūrnieks said: “The staff of Riga International Airport over a number of years in the aviation route development forums have met the representatives of Etihad Airways, and it is truly gratifying to see that the joint effort of the Latvian airline airBaltic and the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates Etihad Airways has brought to the clients of both airlines the opportunity to explore the route Riga - Abu Dhabi. The planned frequency of 4 times a week will provide the passengers of Riga Airport with more convenient travel opportunities to destinations in the East and Asia, and the passengers of Etihad Airways – with an easy access to Europe.”
 
Flights can be booked online at www.airBaltic.com, www.etihad.com, through airBaltic and Etihad Airways Contact Centres, or via travel agents.
 
Riga-Abu Dhabi flight schedule

From
To
Departure time
Arrival time
Days
Aircraft
RIX
AUH
00:45
08:50
Mon, Fri
A319
RIX
AUH
15:35
23:40
Tues, Sat
A319
AUH
RIX
10:00
14:35
Mon, Fri
A319
AUH
RIX
02:00
06:35
Weds, Sun
A319

 
About airBaltic
AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. The primary shareholder is Latvian state with 99.8% of stock. The airBaltic fleet consists of 25 aircraft – five Boeing 737-500, eight Boeing 737-300 and twelve Bombardier Q400Next Gen. airBaltic offers nonstop flights from three Baltic capital cities – Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn. airBaltic received the title of Airline of the Year 2009/2010 (Gold Award) from the European Regions Airline Association. airBaltic is the winner of Air Transport World Phoenix Award 2010 – a global recognition of excellence in restructuring business. airBaltic won a special Pacesetter Award 2010 from the Jury of the Budgies World Low Cost Airline Awards, recognising achievements of airBaltic as a hybrid airline. In 2012, airBaltic was ranked by Airlinetrends among the Top 10 airlines globally for innovations.
 
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2012 carried 10.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways offers flights to 97 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 87 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and over 220 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s, and 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus and Jet Airways. Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will launch a new airline brand in Q1 2014, Etihad Regional, after taking a 33.3 per cent stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline. The airline will also acquire 49 per cent of Air Serbia from January 2014. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com  
 
For more information contact:
Niall Doheny, Etihad Airways Corporate Communications
Email: , Tel: +971 2 511 1058
 
Janis Vanags, Vice President Corporate Communications, A/S Air Baltic Corporation,
Email: , Tel: +371 26548365
http://www.riga-airport.com