Etihad Airways is to start daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo from June 1 2013.
The service will be operated by a three-class A340-600, offering 12 Diamond First class, 32 Pearl Business and 248 Coral Economy seats.
It will mark the first direct air link between Abu Dhabi and any South American country, although Etihad will be the third Gulf carrier to fly to the Brazilian city, after Emirates, which started flights in 2007, and Qatar Airways, which began services in 2010.
“Brazil is a logical next step for us and will mark the sixth continent we serve and our coming of age as a truly global airline,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and CEO.
Brazil is the world’s sixth largest economy, having overtaken the UK in 2011. It is the largest country in South America and has the biggest population, at almost 200 million. Its trade and tourism will be boosted by its hosting of both the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
“Business and tourism flows between the UAE and Brazil have been growing and will be strengthened by our daily direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo,” he added.