A joint alliance between Etihad and Virgin Blue means an increase in flights to Australia from the Middle East.

A joint alliance between Etihad and Virgin Blue means an increase in flights to Australia from the Middle East.

Australian Authorities have backed the new deal that will allow the two carriers to code-share from this month and will allow non-stop flights to Australia from Abu Dhabi by the end of February.

John Borghetti, Virgin Blue’s chief executive and managing director, believes that the alliance will lead to the United Arab Emirates state becoming a major “international hub” and open up travel options for those flying to and from Australia.

He added: “This will allow us to offer corporate and leisure travellers a very attractive one-stop service to more than 14 destinations in Europe, as well as the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Africa.”

Virgin Blue currently offers regular flights to Melbourne, Cairns, Perth as well as other major Australia cities and towns.

Written by Ruth Norris.

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