On March 1, 2009 the venue officially became known as Etihad Stadium and in August 2012 the partnership with Etihad Airways was extended for a further five more years until 2019.
Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. It commenced daily non-stop flights from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi and beyond from March 30, 2009 and now operates two flights daily to and from Melbourne. From June 2016 one of these flights will be operated by the highly acclaimed Airbus A380 aircraft.
From its base Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways now flies to 116 passenger and cargo destinations in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Americas as well as the Middle East. In 2015 the airline carried 17 million passengers and has been voted the World’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards for the last 5 consecutive years.
In addition to Etihad Stadium, Etihad Airways’ extensive sponsorship portfolio includes Melbourne City FC, Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Manchester City Football Club, New York City Football Club, the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Etihad Airways and the City of Melbourne have a special relationship. It’s not only one of the most popular destinations in our global network, it’s also the home of Etihad Stadium, Melbourne’s premier sports and entertainment precinct.”
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways
The airline has a fleet of 121 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 180 additional on firm order, including 25 Boeing 777-X, and 62 Airbus A350s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in air berlin, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia, Etihad Regional and Jet Airways.