Etihad Airways’ first ever commercial flight (destined for Beirut) ten years ago used a wet-leased aircraft operated by Brazilian crew, some of which are still working for the company. A decade and 77 aircraft later, Brazil’s Sao Paulo becomes Etihad’s first gateway to South America.
- Etihad Airways became the last MEB3 carrier to incorporate South America into its route network last week, as it commenced services on the 12,100-kilometre route from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub to the continent’s busiest airport, Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) on 1 June. Thrice-weekly flights are currently offered on the route, competing for transfer traffic via the Middle East with daily flights from both Emirates and Qatar Airways. A340-500s in a three-class configuration are deployed to operate the new service.