Etihad Airways has honoured key stakeholders in Nepal to mark a decade of partnership and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Kathmandu. Diplomats and government and aviation officials were joined by corporate and travel industry partners, along with local media and the airline’s Kathmandu-based employees as Etihad Airways recognised their loyalty and support at two events in the Nepali capital.
His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Naqbi, UAE Ambassador to Nepal, was the guest of honour at the anniversary events held at the Hotel Annapurna in Kathmandu. Dignitaries included His Excellency Andrei Budnik, Ambassador of Russia to Nepal; His Excellency Yves Andre Carmona, Ambassador of France to Nepal; and Dipak Adhikari, Chief of Protocol at the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Etihad Airways launched scheduled flights between the capital cities of the United Arab Emirates and Nepal on 28 October 2007 with four services a week. Frequency rose to daily in 2010, doubling to two flights a day in 2013.
The airline has carried more than 1.2 million guests between the two cities, and beyond since 2007. Both corporate and leisure travellers have used the services between Abu Dhabi and Kathmandu and connecting cities across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America. These include Amsterdam, Cairo, Chicago, Dammam, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Milan, New York, Paris, Rome, Sydney, Toronto and Washington.
His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Naqbi, UAE Ambassador to Nepal, said: “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to Etihad Airways for celebrating 10 years of flying to Nepal. I was honoured to be appointed Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Nepal last year which was my first opportunity to visit this beautiful country. “I hope many travellers from across Nepal continue to fly with Etihad Airways and take advantage of the numerous destinations that the UAE’s national airline flies to, including our home city of Abu Dhabi and its many tourist attractions.”
Etihad Airways has been a key supporter of Nepal’s tourism industry and active in championing local community projects over the years.
These include supporting the 60th anniversary of the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon to the summit of Mount Everest to spread the message of a cleaner and greener environment; Etihad Airways employees engaging with and visiting orphanages, centres for physically challenged children, and homes for the elderly; transporting humanitarian relief aid and rescue workers following the deadly Nepal earthquake in 2015; flying surgeons from the UK to Nepal to help leprosy victims; and the donation of Etihad Guest Miles by members of the airline’s loyalty programme towards the purchase of goods for those in need.
Dougie Douglas, Etihad Airways Area Manager for Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, said Nepal was an integral part of the airline’s global network, providing guests with ease of travel to Abu Dhabi and beyond. “Our guests from Nepal are offered a world class, award-winning service to over 600 destinations around the world with Etihad Airways and our partner airlines,” he said. “It is our strong partnership with key stakeholders here in Nepal and globally that has helped Etihad Airways excel to great heights in just a few years. This spirit of partnership, dedication and commitment is part of Etihad Airways’ DNA and we recognise the support of all our stakeholders in making Etihad Airways the airline of choice.”
Pawana Shrestha, Etihad Airways General Manager Nepal, expressed her appreciation to the travel trade, and recognised local agents as well as long-serving airline employees with the presentation of 10-year achievement awards. “The last 10 years of Etihad Airways in Nepal has also seen a focus on our corporate social responsibility efforts to support local communities. It is particularly heartening to see so many of our guests and my colleagues around the world engaging with numerous Etihad Airways-led charitable and humanitarian causes in Nepal.”
Aside from passenger traffic, Etihad Airways has supported the export market from Nepal, with the transport of freight, including cotton, carpets, handicrafts and coffee to cities around the world.