Etihad Airways has started passenger services to Barcelona from its Abu Dhabi hub – increasing the capacity of cargo-arm Etihad Cargo into Spain.
The carrier will now provide freight forwarders and cargo customers greater access to its global network along key trade routes connecting Europe to the Middle East, Africa and Asia via Abu Dhabi.
Etihad launched its first scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Barcelona on 28 November. Combined with its daily Madrid service, launched in 2015, these operations now offer more than 23,000 tonnes per year of cargo capacity for the Spanish market.
The new Barcelona Airbus A330-200 service will add to this with an initial schedule of five times per week, before increasing to a daily service on 31 March, 2019.
In addition, trucking services from gateways across Europe further compliment the network, offering customers greater reach and faster delivery times.
Etihad Airways managing director of cargo and logistics, Abdulla Mohamed Shadid said: “2018 has been a very successful year for Etihad Cargo, with positive progress achieved across our fleet and network optimization, our products development and enhancement, and our digital transformation.
“More recently, following our decision to deploy additional capacity to key markets such as China, India and Vietnam, as well as an aircraft dedicated for charters to meet fourth quarter demand, this Barcelona service marks a timely addition to the network. We are encouraged by the demand demonstrated by the market for this service and delighted to see the inaugural flight carrying 17.6 tonnes of cargo.”
Etihad Cargo first started operating in Spain as on off-line carrier, sending shipments to Paris and Amsterdam via truck to feed into the Etihad network. Since the inaugural passenger flight to Madrid on 30 March, 2015, Etihad Cargo has provided daily air cargo services to key destinations across the GCC, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.