A new strategic partnership has been inked to enhance air connectivity between Abu Dhabi and Europe as the UAE Capital aims to position the emirate as a preferred tourist destination and attract more than 24 million visitors by the end of 2023.

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) signed MoU with the Franco-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The partnership expands Abu Dhabi’s global connectivity through daily flights to Paris.

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at DCT – Abu Dhabi, noted the 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.”

New destinations, opportunities

In July, Air France announced that it will introduce daily direct flights between Paris and Abu Dhabi later this year. From October 29, the French flag carrier will connect the two Capital cities by operating an Airbus A350-900. The flight will have 324 seats, including 34 in business, 24 in premium economy, and 266 in economy classes.

Clarke 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 implement collaborative travel trade promotions targeted toward 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.

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