(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Etihad Regional's first commercial flight F7154 took to the skies on Thursday, with a newly branded 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft
The flight departed from the airline's hub in Geneva, Switzerland and landed on schedule at Rome Fiumicino Airport in Italy
The first Etihad Regional branded aircraft was unveiled at a glittering launch event in Zurich last week, showcasing the airline's new livery and brand new logo. All 10 aircraft in the Etihad Regional fleet will feature the new livery by the end of June 2014
Maurizio Merlo, Chief Executive Officer of Darwin Airline, said: "This is a very exciting day for us and we are thrilled that Etihad Regional's first flight was operated on this critical route linking the two important cities of Geneva and Rome
"I am confident that this is the beginning of a very successful collaboration, which will benefit the customers of both airlines. Etihad Regional will gain significant cnnectivity opportunities, an improved brand experience, and benefit from the experience of Etihad Airways.
James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Airways, said: "Integrating Etihad Regional into our equity alliance is consistent with our approach to expansion, which relies on the strength of strategic partnerships across the globe. This partnership will have a positive impact, stimulating regional competition in Europe and ultimately benefiting travellers across the globe.
Darwin Airline launched its daily service between Rome and Geneva in March 2011. Since then, the airline has tripled the frequency to meet strong demand from business and leisure passengers travelling between the two cities
Etihad Regional is the latest member of Etihad Airways' equity alliance, which today consists of another six partner airlines, including airberlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Virgin Australia, Jet Airways, and Air Serbia, subject to regulatory approval