Tuesday, December 11, 2012

■ GUINEA: Etihad Airways to serve Conakry via codeshare with Royal Air Maroc.

Etihad Airways (EY), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced it will establish air links between the UAE and Guinea, in West Africa, by extending its existing code-share agreement with Moroccan national airline, Royal Air Maroc (AT).

The expanded agreement, which comes into effect on December 12, will allow passengers to travel between Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and Conakry, the capital of Guinea, with Etihad Airways between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca in Morocco, and to/from Guinea via Royal Air Maroc’s non-stop twice weekly Casablanca - Conakry service.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: 

An important part of our growth strategy is to offer customers access to as many global destinations as possible, whether this be organically, by opening up new routes of our own or through strategic agreements with other airlines, adding breadth and depth to our network.

“By expanding our cooperation with our codeshare partner Royal Air Maroc, Etihad Airways provides enhanced access to the growing flow of people and commerce between the Republic of Guinea in West Africa, the UAE, and the country’s major trading partners in Europe, North America, the Indian subcontinent and Asia.

L'aéroport international de Conakry Gbessia, Guinée
L'aéroport international de Conakry Gbessia (guinea.info)
The codeshare agreement also allows reciprocity across their respective frequent flyer programs, Safar Flyer and Etihad Guest, allowing members to earn and redeem air miles on each other’s flights. 

Guinea is of growing interest to the international business community owing to its extensive mineral resources, including a third of the world’s known bauxite reserves (the raw material of aluminium), of which it is the world’s largest exporter. It also has large high grade iron ore deposits, as well as diamond and gold resources.

Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment and development company, has recently signed an agreement for the long-term supply of bauxite to the UAE which will result in a significant contribution of US$500 million to the Guinean economy, create many new jobs for Guinean nationals, and secure the provision of a high-grade strategic resource for the growing UAE aluminium industry, now the world’s fifth largest aluminium producer.