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Thu 1 Mar 2007 12:00 AM

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Etihad Hols creates Oz mini-brochure

Etihad Holidays has published a mini-brochure dedicated to Australia, ahead of the launch of its three times weekly service to Sydney on March 26.

Etihad Holidays has published a mini-brochure dedicated to Australia, ahead of the launch of its three times weekly service to Sydney on March 26.

The brochure, which features Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, The Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne, is designed as a temporary measure before the official Etihad Holidays 2007 brochure is launched prior to Arabian Travel Market.

“We have carefully built our new programme around the needs of travellers from this region and anticipate a great deal of interest from UAE customers keen to travel in style from Abu Dhabi,” said Nick Wood, general manager, Etihad Holidays.

Property options range from three- to five-star properties, encompassing city hotels and country retreats, and customers can choose from additional pre-bookable options such as limousine transfers or a helicopter flight around Sydney.

The mini-brochure also includes fly-drive options in association with Etihad Holidays’ car rental partner Holiday Autos, based on seven-day packages.

Due to huge demand for the route, Wood advised booking well ahead of the intended date of travel, and said discounts were available for bookings made at least 30 days prior to departure.

Geert W Boven, executive vice president, sales & services, Etihad Airways, expects to see load factors of 60% on the Abu Dhabi-Sydney route to start with, increasing to between 70% and 75% when the airline becomes established.

“Etihad Airways will not only win market share, but also help grow the bilateral tourism and trade between the two countries,” he said.

“We will win market share just by the fact we are another provider in a market where demand requires more connectivity between Australia, the UAE, GCC and beyond.”

According to Boven, high traffic volumes are projected from the Middle East, and also from Europeans looking to travel via Abu Dhabi to Sydney.

“With the UAE and Australian markets thriving, particularly in terms of tourism and trade, we anticipate that the Abu Dhabi–Sydney route will become one of the most popular,” he added.

Etihad has no immediate plans to launch services to other Australian destinations and has ruled out onward services to New Zealand, though the carrier does plan to enter into agreements with “potential partners” to enable Australia bound passengers to connect with all of country’s major cities.

“For the time being our focus for launching new routes is to the world’s major capitals and financial/business hubs. Initially we believe it makes sense for Etihad to commence flights into Australia’s largest market, Sydney,” said Boven.

Etihad packages to Australia

Prices for a three-night package to Sydney start from AED 3210 (US $874) per person, including return coral class flights and accommodation in a three-star hotel on a room only basis, based on two people sharing, excluding taxes and transfers.

Seven-day fly-drive packages lead in at AED 3210 ($874) per person including return class economy class flights and seven days car rental with unlimited mileage.

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