Etihad Airways, the national flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is set to fly Team England to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline is synonymous with sport, having flown thousands of elite athletes, coaches and supporters around the globe from Manchester City’s Title Winning Squads to England Cricket’s T20 2016 runner-up team.
Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said: “Team England strives to facilitate the very best preparation for our athletes to deliver their best on the Gold Coast. It’s fantastic to know that with Etihad, Team England will be in best possible hands on our journey to Australia. Etihad is renowned the world over for the quality of its service so we can be sure that our Commonwealth Games will get off to the best possible start the second the athletes begin their journey.”
James Harrison, General Manager for Etihad Airways in the UK, said: “Etihad Airways is proud to be the preferred airline for Team England. The UK market is very important to us. We operate to 13 Commonwealth countries and will have flown a record half a million Britons via Abu Dhabi and beyond in 2017. The Commonwealth Games will be hugely inspirational and we look forward to helping Team England achieve their dreams in 2018.”
Commonwealth Games England Chief Executive Paul Blanchard said: “I’m delighted to welcome Etihad Airways to the Team England family. Etihad’s support shows that there is a real appetite amongst the most prestigious companies in the country to get behind England at the Commonwealth Games. With the potential of hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as well as the Gold Coast Games just months away, this is a really exciting time to be involved with Commonwealth Games England and our athletes.”
Etihad Airways will be transporting over 650 Team England athletes and support staff to Australia next year. Team England preparations begin in Brisbane with a holding camp from 19 March and the Games themselves get underway on the Gold Coast on 4 April 2018.
Etihad currently operates 33 connecting flights weekly to Australia from London, Manchester and Edinburgh. In the past year, the airline has flown over 65,000 passengers from the UK to one of four Australian airports, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.