Etihad has announced it will add seven flights per week to both Cairo, Egypt, and Lagos, Nigeria, on the back of growing numbers of tourists from the continent.
“Cairo is the largest point to point market from Abu Dhabi enjoying an increase in tourist traffic to Egypt,” says Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial. “Lagos is one of our largest direct markets in Sub-Saharan Africa that is showing signs of strength as Nigeria recovers from recession.”
“Against this backdrop, our additional flights will help facilitate the growth. With the convenience of Abu Dhabi’s geographical position, we are providing timely flight connections between our capital city in the UAE and both Cairo and Lagos for the benefit of our travellers and the movement of freight,” he adds.
A fifth daily scheduled service will be introduced on the Cairo route, effective 1 October 2017, taking frequency to the Egyptian capital up from 28 to 35 flights a week. The airline will add a Saturday flight to Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos from 2 December 2017.
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Egypt totalled US$400 million last year. GDP growth in Egypt is expected to be 3.5 per cent this year, rising to 4.5 per cent in 2018. And tourist arrivals into Egypt are forecast to increase from last year’s level of 5 million to 5.4m this year, and further to almost 6m in 2018.
Nigeria’s GDP growth rate is expected to more than double from 0.83 per cent this year to 1.9 per cent in 2018 largely due to the expanding manufacturing, financial and IT sectors that are helping fuel demand for more international air capacity.