MSC CRUISES AND ETIHADAIRWAYS TO PROVIDE BEST-IN-CLASS EXPERIENCE IN THE AIR AND AT SEA FOR EUROPEAN GUESTS
MSC CRUISES TO FURTHER EXPAND ACCESS TO ABU DHABI, DUBAI AND OMAN
Geneva, Switzerland, 24June 2015 –MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and market leader in the Mediterranean and in South America, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced today a new partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests travelling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
PHOTO CAPTION (L-R): Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer MSC Cruise; James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer Etihad Airways; PierfrancescoVago, Executive Chairman MSC Cruises; Captain Mohamed al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer Abu Dhabi Ports Company
The partnership with EtihadAirways reflects MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to its guests and is testament to the Company’s wish to always make its all-around offering a best-in-class experience, both at sea and in the air – with “Fly&Cruise” packages from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK - with Etihad Airways or partner airlines in its network.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to partner with Etihad Airways. Both companies are uniquely young, ambitious and dynamic market leaders. With our “Fly&Cruise” packages, MSC Cruises guests will benefit from Etihad Airways’ and our Company’s impeccable service from the minute they leave their homes for a memorable cruise experience on MSC Musica. Through our partnership and also together with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority we will work to develop Abu Dhabi as an ideal winter cruise destination to further strengthen our offer in the region.”
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways, declared: “Abu Dhabi is being developed into a leading international cruise destination, with record passenger numbers and ship calls reported during the recent 2014/2015 season. Future projections are even stronger, as the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opens at the end of this year, and world-class cultural attractions such as Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums enhance the local tourism offering.
“Our partnership with MSC Cruises, as well as Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, for ‘Fly&Cruise’ will expand source markets for cruises in the UAE and regionally, bringing in more travellers from destinations across Europe. It will also ensure a comfortable travel experience for guests at all stages of their holiday, including their time in the air and on the sea.”
In its focus on developing the cruise market in the beautiful region of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, MSC Cruises logically partnered with Etihad Airways. Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Cruises’ guests will be able to fly to Abu Dhabi from Europe with Etihad Airways to cruise in the region in the amazing Arabian winter. Guests will fly with the national airline of the UAE to their cruise during winter 2015-2016 on MSC Musica.
Contributing nearly 20 per cent in terms of market share to Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, MSC Cruises has brought over 100,000 passengers from 115 nationalities to the Emirate between 2011 and 2015. Overall, Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, that ran from October 2014 until May 2015, welcomed a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO Abu Dhabi Ports, commented: “By providing state-of-the -art facilities to cruise lines and industry partners, we are boosting Abu Dhabi’s growth potential to be a regular port of call on the itineraries of leading tour operators from across the world. Our innovation in service and infrastructure has been delivering a lasting impression to visitors to Abu Dhabi, supporting our mission to increase our share of the UAE’s non-hydrocarbon based GDP and to contribute further to the tourism industry.”
From 13 December 2015 to 27 March 2016, MSC Musica will sail 16 seven-night cruises in the region from Abu Dhabi, calling Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai.
MSC Cruises already partners with multiple global brands that are bywords for excellence in their fields. Partnerships with the Lego Group and Chicco are rooted in the Company’s commitment to creating unforgettable holidays for children and families. A partnership with restaurant brand Eataly adds high-end Italian cuisine based on exceptional ingredients to the fleet’s rich dining offering, while Samsung and Expo 2015 - of which MSC Cruises is the Official Cruise Carrier - echo the Company’s focus on technological innovation.
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises, part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company, is the market leader in the Mediterranean, South America and South Africa, and sails year-round in the Mediterranean. Its seasonal itineraries cover northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, the Emirates and Oman.
MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility for the environments in which it operates, and was the first company ever to earn the Bureau Veritas "7 Golden Pearls" for superior management and environmental stewardship.
In 2009, MSC Cruises began an enduring partnership with UNICEF to support various programmes assisting children worldwide. So far, more than €3m has been collected in voluntary guest donations.
MSC Cruises was born in the Mediterranean, and draws inspiration from this heritage to create a unique experience for holidaymakers worldwide. Its fleet comprises 12 modern ships: MSC Preziosa; MSC Divina; MSC Splendida; MSC Fantasia; MSC Magnifica; MSC Poesia; MSC Orchestra; MSC Musica; MSC Sinfonia; MSC Armonia; MSC Opera and MSC Lirica.@MSCCruises_PR #Medwayoflife
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2014 carried 14.8 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to 111 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 116 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 68 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and eight Airbus A380s.
Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional. Etihad Airways, along with airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI, also participate in Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand that brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.