UAE's Etihad inks deal with Tourism Australia

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Tourism Australia and Etihad Airways said on Sunday they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at bringing more visitors from the Middle East, UK and Europe to Australia via the airline's international network.

Under the new marketing agreement, the signatories will invest up to AUS$6m ($6.34m) over the next three years in a range of initiative targeting visitors from the Middle East, UK and Europe.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said: "In just five years of flying to Australia, Etihad Airways has demonstrated a strong and growing commitment to its Australian operations.

"Thanks to its rapidly expanding international network, Etihad Airways is feeding increasing numbers of passengers onto Australia bound flights through its Abu Dhabi hub, particularly from Australia's traditional high volume markets of the UK and Europe," he said.

Etihad Airways' president and CEO James Hogan added that Australia was strategically important to Etihad Airways and contributed "significantly" to the airline's bottom line.

"We not only have 16 percent of our global seat capacity dedicated to the route but also major investments in community assets like Melbourne's Etihad Stadium," Hogan said.

"There is a great natural synergy between the MoU with Tourism Australia and our airline partnerships, particularly the one with Virgin Australia."

He added that Etihad Airways and Tourism Australia have already started planning a major campaign for the first half of 2013 - together with Virgin Australia.

The deal follows a similar tie-up announced by Emirates Airline in November.

The Dubai carrier signed a new AUS$2m marketing deal with South Australian authorities following the arrival of its first flight to Adelaide.

The partnership with the South Australian Government and Tourism Australia will see marketing activities promoting South Australia’s tourism credentials across Emirates’ European network over two years.

The new marketing campaign will promote South Australia in the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

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