STOCK Etihad Airways
The Al Qassim launch marks Etihad Airways' fourth destination to Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s flag carrier Etihad Airways announced Monday that it operated its first flight to Saudi Arabia’s Al Qassim. This marks the first flight connecting UAE’s capital with Al Qassim, located in the central region of Saudi Arabia.

The new route is not just a new destination, but a strategic addition to the airline's global network. It becomes the airline’s fourth destination in Saudi Arabia, offering passengers four non-stop weekly flights. The airline's vision is to improve connectivity between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world through Abu Dhabi, a key hub in its global network.

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STOCK- Etihad Abu Dhabi to Al Qassim
Etihad Airways' pilots celebrate launch flights to Al Qassim. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad Airways, said, “As we celebrate the newest addition to our growing global network, we reaffirm our commitment to the Saudi market as we mark 20 years of connecting Abu Dhabi with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With the increasing demand for air travel to the promising business and tourism market in KSA, we are excited to launch flights to Al Qassim, a significant cultural and commercial center.

Neves said, “By establishing this air link, we aim to meet the increasing demand and provide our guests with convenient access to Abu Dhabi and seamless connectivity to our extensive global network while delivering a remarkable flying experience.”

An airline statement states that the flights will be operated with aircraft from the Airbus A320 family.

Etihad Cargo expands freighter network to Madrid

The airline’s cargo division – also announced Monday that it is expanding its freighter network with a new route to Madrid. Starting July 15, Etihad Cargo will operate two weekly Boeing 777 freighter flights between Abu Dhabi and Madrid, adding over 200 tonnes of cargo capacity for Europe. The launch of a twice-weekly freighter will increase the total number of flights to Spain to 25 per week.

This new route complements Etihad Cargo’s existing European freighter network, which includes six weekly flights to Amsterdam and three weekly flights to Frankfurt. With the addition of Madrid to the network, the total number of Etihad Cargo’s freighter flights to Europe will increase to 11 per week.

Stanislas Brun, Vice President of Cargo at Etihad Cargo, commented, “Launching Madrid as Etihad Cargo’s latest European freighter destination supports the growing demand for e-commerce flows between Asia and Europe. Madrid’s role as a key fashion hub makes it an essential destination for the carrier’s freighter network.”