Etihad Airways has announced plans for the first direct, nonstop flights between Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.
A five times weekly service will launch on November 21, rising to daily from March 31, 2019.
Flight EY49 will depart Abu Dhabi at 0220 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving into Barcelona at 0645, returning as EY50, departing the Spanish city at 0950 and landing back into Abu Dhabi at 2000.
The route will be served with a two-class A330-200 aircraft, and will coincide with the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place from November 23-25 this year. It will also add to Etihad’s existing daily flights to Madrid.
Commenting on the news Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways CEO, said: “As one of the largest unserved markets from our Abu Dhabi base, Barcelona – a hub of culture, commerce, tourism, education, fashion and science, has witnessed a significant increase in travel demand from the emirate, and from across our wider network.
“We are now delighted to announce the first direct link between these two important global hubs. We are confident it will prove very popular with UAE and Barcelona-based customers, allowing us to extend our acclaimed inflight service, hospitality and flair to this vibrant Mediterranean city, and to build on the flourishing cultural and commercial ties between the UAE and Spain.”
Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways serve Barcelona from their hubs at Dubai and Doha respectively.