May 31 - Etihad Cargo - the freight division of Etihad Airlines - has launched its first-ever round-the-world freighter service, using a 138-tonne payload B747-8 freighter on a multi-year ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) basis from Atlas A
The route was inaugurated May 30, 2013 and connects Etihad Cargo's Abu Dhabi, UAE hub with destinations in Asia, the US, South America and Europe.
The new round-the-world-service flies an Abu Dhabi - Hong Kong - Miami - Viracopos - Quito - Amsterdam - Abu Dhabi routing.
Miami (US), Viracopos (Brazil) and Quito (Ecuador) are three new freighter destinations in the Americas for Etihad Cargo - whose network of dedicated freighters and bellyhold capacity now extends to 92 points around the world. Etihad Cargo's fleet of eight freighters service 28 of these destination directly.
Kevin Knight, chief strategy and planning officer, Etihad Airways, commented: "By linking the round-the-world capability with our existing Etihad Cargo services through our Abu Dhabi hub, we believe our offer is industry-leading.
"Etihad Cargo is reinforcing its position as a global operator with the entry into service of this round-the-world routing, touching the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe," he added.
In June 2013, Etihad Cargo will strengthen its South American position with the addition of Sao Paulo, Brazil to its network, offering bellyhold freight capacity on a new A340-500 passenger service. HLPFI has previously reported that Heavyweight Air Express will provide cargo GSSA services on the new route (http://tinyurl.com/mq2y7y5).