Etihad Crystal Cargo, the cargo division of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is setting up its cargo operations for the new service Abu Dhabi ’ Paris.

Starting from May 3, 2006, Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport) will be served non-stop, six times a week with an Airbus A330-200, offering a cargo capacity of 14 tons with a full passenger load.

‘The start of non-stop services Abu Dhabi ’ Paris will boost our cargo capacity to the European market significantly. Vice versa, it will enable French forwarders to reach vital markets of the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East though our fast growing network,’ says Ingo Roessler, Vice President Cargo, Etihad Airways.

The Sales and Services of Etihad Crystal Cargo’s new product will be done by Airnautic France. WFS (Worldwide Flight Services) will be responsible for the Handling at Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Airnautic France has been Etihad Crystal Cargo’s General Sales and Services Agent (GSSA) since 2005, successfully starting the cargo business in France by offering air cargo services via Frankfurt, Germany.

‘With the start of the direct, non-stop service Abu Dhabi ’ Paris we will be able to target more customers and focus on carrying typical French export products such as perishables or perfumery,’ says Denis Le Baler, President and CEO of Airnautic France.

Etihad Airways has played a significant role in ensuring continued trade ties between the UAE and France, due to its record order for 24 French-produced Airbus aircraft. The Airbus order, amounting to US$ 7bn and scheduled to arrive by spring 2008, includes four double-decked A380 aircraft.

Paris will be Etihad’s eighth European destination, joining new and established Etihad routes to Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, London Gatwick and Heathrow, Manchester, and Munich.

It will also be the 30th destination on Etihad’s rapidly expanding network, which includes the start of services to nine new destinations in 2006.