The UAE business community will shortly have better access to Latvia after Etihad Airways signed a codeshare agreement with airBaltic.
The Latvian carrier will operate four weekly return flights to Abu Dhabi from December 16 on 116-seat A319 aircraft (14 business class and 102 economy class seats) and tickets go on sale today.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, said trade, cultural and leisure ties between the UAE and Latvia “have never been stronger” and this new direct flight, the first between the two countries, will support future growth. In 2012, Latvia’s exports to the UAE reached €72 million.
The tie-up enables Etihad greater access to northern and eastern Europe via airBaltic’s Riga hub and allows Latvian passengers improved accessibility to Middle East and Asian markets.
Etihad will place its ‘EY’ flight code on the new Riga flights, and subject to government approvals, beyond to 19 cities including Billund, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Turku, Hamburg, Alesund, Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger, Vilnius, Warsaw, Stockholm, Kiev, Vienna, Prague, Barcelona and Istanbul.
In return, airBaltic will place its ‘BT’ flight code on Etihad Airways flights beyond Abu Dhabi to Cairo, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Amman and Muscat.
In a separate move, Etihad is increasing its Jakarta flights to double daily from October 27, providing 20 weekly flights on the route in conjunction with partner Garuda Indonesia.
Last year, total bilateral trade between Indonesia and the UAE was valued at $3.3 billion.