Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways has operated its first ever flight to Havana, carrying Cuban nationals returning home from the UAE.
“The goodwill flight, chartered by the UAE government, was the latest addition to an expanding list of special charter flights to destinations not normally served on the airline’s global route network,” an airline statement said on Friday.
Since March 24, following suspension of all regular passenger flights to and from the UAE, Etihad has also operated special humanitarian services to 32 cities around the world, which have not been previously served by the airline’s network of passenger or cargo flights
These special flights include Bogota, Bucharest, Grozny, Kiev, Larnaca, Podgorica, Tirana, Yerevan, Zagreb, Auckland, Bhubaneswar, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Dhaka, Erbil, Kabul, Lucknow, Makhachkala, Addis Ababa, Antananarivo, Bamako, Banjul, Conakry, Freetown, Harare, Kinshasa, Moroni, N’Djamena, Niamey, and Nouakchott.
The airline also recently operated a special humanitarian flight carrying essential medical and humanitarian cargo to the Palestinian Territories.
“Our services are a natural extension of the goodwill initiatives of the UAE government, and other governments and NGOs,” said Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Etihad Aviation Group Senior Vice President Government, International and Communications.
“All of us at Etihad feel a collective sense of pride, and humility, in the knowledge that we have been able to fully mobilise our resources at a time of great difficulty and suffering, to provide essential aerial lifelines to those in need. We have been able to move with agility and fly to territories never served by us prior to the current global lockdown, so we can aid in the repatriation of people,” he added.
Etihad noted it has operated special passenger and cargo flights to 62 destinations and will expand this number as it prepares to resume a more normalised network of scheduled flights to and from its Abu Dhabi hub.