Abu Dhabi, Air France-KLM in deal to enhance connectivity
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Franco-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM to expand connectivity between Europe and Abu Dhabi.The signing ceremony, held at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, was attended by Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi; Angus Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer of Air France-KLM; Olivier Piette, Senior Vice President – Network of Air France; and Maureen Bannerman, Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports. The partnership expands Abu Dhabi’s global connectivity through daily flights to Paris, whose flagship carrier Air France is a Skytrax Top 10 airline. Furthermore, the MoU reinforces Abu Dhabi’s goal to attract more than 24 million visitors by the end of 2023 and its commitment to build on its destination awareness. Saleh Mohamed Saleh Al Geziry, the Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “This partnership signifies DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to promote, protect and progress the tourism sector of Abu Dhabi and elevate the emirate’s status as a global destination. By fostering long-term partnerships with trusted international carriers, we are enabling visitors from around the world to visit and witness our rich heritage and diverse culture. This increased connectivity not only enriches the experience for travellers but also positions Abu Dhabi as an additional access point to the East”. Angus Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer, Air France-KLM, added: “We are proud and privileged to be working with DCT Abu Dhabi on this new venture. Abu Dhabi is emerging as a truly global aviation centre, catering to millions of passengers travelling to regional and international destinations.” Air France-KLM’s status as a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance is primed to create new opportunities for increased connectivity within the aviation sector and an expected surge in capacity. The partnership will open up new destinations in Europe and the Americas through single-stop connections in Paris, while improved connectivity positions the Emirate as a stopover hub for key eastern markets as well as a central destination for MICE events and gatherings. DCT Abu Dhabi and Air France-KLM will also implement collaborative travel trade promotions targeted towards key operators and travel agents in France and the Netherlands. By leveraging the existing networks, this initiative aims to expand Abu Dhabi’s tourism footprint in the European market, attracting more visitors to experience the emirate’s unique offerings. Tourism continues to play a key role in the emirate’s diversification strategy. The collaboration with Air France-KLM is a testament that underpins the aviation sector’s role in contributing to Abu Dhabi being a global destination and travel hub.