Cambridge Airport will play a key role in Etihad Airways’ brand new regional operation, after the UAE national carrier acquired a 33.3% stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline which operates four routes from Cambridge, it was announced this week.
Cambridge Airport welcomes Etihad Regional
Following completion of the minority investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, Darwin Airline will rebrand its operations as Etihad Regional and align its network to connect passengers from secondary European markets, including Cambridge, onto the main networks of Etihad Airways and its equity alliance partners.
In addition to rebranding Darwin Airline’s existing international flights from Cambridge Airport, Etihad Airways has also announced its intention to start brand new flights between Cambridge and Düsseldorf in April 2014. As part of this, Cambridge Airport passengers will be able to connect to the extensive network of Etihad Airways’ equity partner airberlin via Düsseldorf. As well as network benefits, Darwin Airline will also adopt the Etihad Guest loyalty programme.
Commenting for the Airport Owners Marshall, Steve Jones, managing director of Aviation Services, said, “When we started working with Darwin Airline two months’ ago, we knew that it would be the perfect strategic partner for Cambridge Airport, offering long term expertise, award-winning service and opportunities for further international growth, and we are delighted that Etihad Regional will now offer even greater global connectivity to our customers. Not only is the new Düsseldorf route an excellent fit for Cambridge’s thriving business market, but it also demonstrates Etihad Airways’ commitment and belief in Cambridge Airport from the outset.”
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This is a stepchange for Etihad Airways. With our new partner Darwin Airline, we are creating a unique approach to network development for global airlines. European travellers will now be able to connect from a far, wider range of European towns and cities on Etihad-branded aircraft, through Abu Dhabi to our destinations worldwide.”
Cambridge Airport is part of the Marshall Group of Companies, a privately owned family business, employing over 4,000 people with a turnover exceeding £1B, managed by the Marshall family. The business was founded in Cambridge in 1909, and entered aviation in 1929.
Although Cambridge Airport is an important gateway for the East of England, with a strong focus on Cambridge and its business, academic and industrial sectors, the airport is also ideally positioned for easy access to London with just under an hour’s drive to the Canary Wharf and East London.
The airport is currently experiencing growth in the Passenger airline and Executive Jet sectors and recent new airline and tour operator services including the UK, the Channel Islands and destinations within Europe, the airport is undergoing an upgrade in passenger facilities.
With a 1965m/6447ft runway accepting aircraft up to Boeing 757 or Airbus 320 and all regional jet types, it is suitable for short to medium haul passenger airline services, with 24/7 capability. It boasts CAA Category 7 Fire & Air Traffic Control status and has full navigational aids and communications, which include radar approach coverage up to 30nm and GPS approaches, which complement an ILS system
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Founded in 1909, the Marshall Group has a turnover of £2.5bn and over 5,700 employees. Headquartered on a 900-acre site in Cambridge, Marshall has three principal arms to the business: Aerospace and Defence; Property; and Ventures.