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Etihad airway, the national airlines of United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced its plans to have direct, daily nonstop flights from Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, to São Paulo, Brazil starting in June 2013.
São Paulo would be the first South American Destination in Etihad’s list; the new route would be to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, the main international airport in the city.
According to Business Traveler websites, Mr. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and CEO, said “Brazil is a logical next step for us and will mark the sixth continent we serve and our coming of age as a truly global airline.”
Etihad airlines would be the second UAE airline to have direct flights from the country to a Brazilian city; Emirates airlines was the first.
In 2014, Brazil will be the hosting country of the FIFA World Cup. UAE in general, and especially Abu Dhabi, will be the main hub for the football fans and sports journalists from Asia and the Middle East looking for direct flights to Brazil.
Also, São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport would be a great transit point for the connecting traveler to other destinations in Brazil and other Latin American Countries. The airport is connected to all South American airports directly by different airlines.
Abu Dhabi will be a major connecting point to their original homeland for the large Arab community in Brazil and other Latin American countries. Most Arabs in Brazil are originally from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
Additionally, it will ease the travel for students from Middle Eastern and Asian countries between Brazil and their countries for holidays and after graduation. Brazil is considered an attractive education spot for the scholar who is looking for high quality education with low tuition fees and living costs.
The new flights between the two cities will give a push to the growing business between the two countries. Brazil is considered to be the 4th largest trading partner to the UAE, with trade business valued about 2.85 billion US dollars. Officials in the two countries are hoping to expand the trade relation to 10 billion US dollars in the next 5 years.
According to the National, the official UAE English newspaper, Mr. João de Mendonça Lima Neto, the Brazilian ambassador to UAE, stated “We are witnessing significant growth in the bilateral relations between Brazil and the UAE and we are certain that Etihad Airways flights will create new opportunities for government, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges.”
Image Courtesy of TBSteve