08/02/2014 08:50 AST

Tourism Australia on Friday announced Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, as its gold airline partner for the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE14), Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event taking place for the first time this year in Cairns.

ATE14 will see around 600 ‘buyer’ delegates from 38 countries and approximately 1,200 Australian ‘seller’ delegates converge in Cairns, Queensland, from May 11 to 15, the first time the event will be held in a regional destination in its 35-year history.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline will provide return flights for international buyer delegates from the UK, Europe, Singapore and the Middle East, including connections onto its alliance partner Virgin Australia’s domestic flights to Cairns.

Friday’s announcement follows the signing in late 2012 of a A$6m, three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two parties, helping to grow international visitors to Australia from the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Tourism Australia Acting Managing Director, Frances-Anne Keeler, said Etihad Airways’ award-winning service and extensive international network made it an ideal airline partner for ATE14.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways is pleased to be investing in the future of Australian tourism by supporting ATE for the first time in 2014.

“The partnership with Tourism Australia for ATE14 is a logical extension of the MoU we signed in 2012 and underscores Etihad Airways’ enduring commitment to Australia and its contribution to the Australian economy and community life through partnerships with Sydney Opera House and Etihad Stadium, to name but a few.”


Khaleej Times

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