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     GoAir Launches Flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi Airports has welcomed GoAir’s launch of daily new flights connecting the two most important Indian cities - Mumbai and Delhi to the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi.
GoAir’s inaugural flight from Mumbai and Delhi to Abu Dhabi was received with warmth and fanfare, as the Indian subcontinent remains one of the most popular destinations for travelers departing from the UAE. Delhi is the capital of India and Mumbai is considered as the financial capital of the world’s 6th largest economy.
Maarten De Groof, Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “I reiterate the fact that GoAir is our most promising new partner and we are pleased to welcome GoAir’s flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Abu Dhabi. India continues to be been one of our largest and most important areas of operations, and we and look forward to ensuring GoAir’s guests enjoy a comfortable and efficient experience throughout Abu Dhabi International Airport where we continue to deploy world-class smart travel solutions, attractive retail offerings, and relaxing lounge spaces.
“This additional service to Abu Dhabi reflects the capital’s status as a key destination and transit hub for business and leisure travelers, forms a part of our strategy to attract new airlines to our network, and will support tourism growth in the Emirate,” added De Groof.
Mr. Jeh Wadia, Managing Director of GoAir, said: “Our daily flights between Mumbai/ Delhi and Abu Dhabi is a manifestation of GoAir’s vision for the Middle East. Here we are, in less than six months, with a new set of routes that symbolizes business and leisure and also reminds us of the historically strong Indian–UAE relationship. GoAir is India’s fastest growing airline and we see Abu Dhabi as the logical extension of our operations. GoAir is delighted to work with Abu Dhabi Airports and its management. I welcome aboard passengers from Mumbai, Delhi and Abu Dhabi on daily direct flight services. FlySmart, fly GoAir.
Earlier this year, GoAir and Safar Travel & Tourism announced the inauguration of the airline’s first flight between Kannur International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport. GoAir is India’s fastest growing airline, committed to providing travelers value for their money through the highest standards of customer service delivery and affordable air fares. With its 50 Airbus A320 fleet of aircraft, the airline offers more than 270 daily flights and approximately 1,600 weekly flights across domestic and international destinations.

Interview with: Mohammed Abdulla Al Fahim with National newspaper
May 1, 2013 

"It is one of the most common areas or places to go to in Europe," says Mohammed Al Fahim, the general manager of products and services at Safar Travel & Tourism, an Abu Dhabi-based agency.
"Speaking as a UAE national, it is attractive for many reasons. One is shopping, next is the weather during the spring period. Thirdly is the different types of places you can go in the UK. Other than London, you have access to Scotland, you have access to Europe via the Eurostar. It's another hub if people want to go to the United States."
Holiday trips rose sharply last year, accounting for 36 per cent of the visits from the UAE to the UK, compared with 24 per cent in the previous year, according to VisitBritain.

The UK is also a popular destination for customers of Royal Jet, Abu Dhabi's private plane operator, which flew to eight airports in the UK last year, including Heathrow, Jersey, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham.
Trips that involved visiting friends and families, which typically result in lower spending, accounted for fewer visits last year at 28 per cent, compared with 39 per cent in 2011, according to VisitBritain.

Business visits, however, dipped by one per cent to 20 per cent in 2012.
But both leisure and business trips may rise if visa rules are relaxed for Emiratis, according to Mr Al Fahim.
Currently, UAE nationals must arrange visas for the UK before they travel, but talks are ongoing between the two governments to ease restrictions.
"Some people over here see the process as a burden. They see that it is going to take four or five days to get a visa, whereas if you are travelling tomorrow or the day after [it is difficult]," said Mr Al Fahim.
"From a leisure perspective you can plan it, but from a business perspective if you could receive a visa on the spot there would be an excellent flow of traffic towards the UK," he added.

A decision is expected on visa-free travel within months,according to the British government, which is keen to encourage more travel from the region.
"The Gulf is a very important source market for Britain," said Sumathi Ramanathan,the regional manager for Asia Pacific and Middle East at VisitBritain.

"Our mission is to keep this momentum going and continue to grow visitor numbers from this region to meet our ambition of delivering a 30 per cent increase in visits by 2020."
The Emirates is not, however, in the top five source countries.They are France,Germany, the US, Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

But the UK remained one of the top source markets for inbound travel to the UAE last year, despite strong visitor growth rates from India, China and Russia.
For Abu Dhabi, the UK remained the largest overseas market. More than 129,000 British travellers stayed in the emirate in the first 11 months of last year, representing a 2 per cent increase over the same period in 2011, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

About 2.17 million people visited Abu Dhabi during this period last year. British travellers stayed on average for 4.32 nights per person, a decrease of about 1 per cent over 2011.
Dubai also registered an increase in UK visitors of 6.6 per cent to 685,629 tourists last year.

They generated an 11.64 per cent rise in the number of guest nights. Among the reasons was the increased connectivity between the two countries, according to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commence Marketing.
There are more than 150 direct flights every week between Dubai and the UK.
The latest airline to join the route is Qantas, with its Heathrow-Dubai flight last month following a tie-up with Emirates Airline.
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