Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates has started its six flights a week service between the airline’s Abu Dhabi home-base and the Nigerian city, Lagos.
To celebrate the new service, and Nigeria’s love of football, the airline operated its iconic sky-blue A330-200 aircraft, painted in Manchester City Football Club’s famous colours, for the launch flight.
The “Blue Moon Rising” aircraft was greeted by a traditional water canon salute on arrival in Lagos at the city’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
On the 3rd of July 2012, celebrities including Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde accompanied by her husband, Captain Matthew Ekeinde who happens to have a personal interest in aviation as a seasoned commercial airline pilot, Dolapo Oni and Michelle Dede who was also the MC of the event hobnobbed with business executives, travel industry professionals and other VIPs at the exclusive event.
Speaking on the launch of the airline’s service in Nigeria, Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to launch Etihad Airways flights to Lagos and our first passenger destination in West Africa. This is a momentous occasion in Etihad Airways history as we expand our flight network in Africa and increase ties between the UAE and Nigeria.”
The six flights per week on the Lagos route will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 22 passengers in Pearl Business class and 240 passengers Coral Economy class.
The service builds on the airline’s existing flights from Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Nairobi and Tripoli.