Etihad Airways Signs Agreement with Dubai Gallery to Bring Art to Air Travel

Commercial News » Commercial Real Estate Edition | By Alma Kadragic | November 5, 2010 9:24 AM ET

(ABU DHABI, UAE) -- The importance of art and culture in the economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE couldn't be clearer. Today Etihad Airways, the country's official airline, announced a new club that links art and air travel for its loyalty program members. From December members of Etihad Guest will have opportunities to enjoy masterpieces in the skies and on the ground.

The announcement for the new art club called Art Connect came today at Abu Dhabi Art. Abu Dhabi Art is a four-day festival that opened Wednesday evening at the Emirates Palace Hotel and ends Sunday. Art Connect is made possible by Etihad's partnership with Opera Gallery, a major art house with branches in New York, Miami, London, Paris, Geneva, Monaco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, and two in Dubai.

Art Connect will organize a monthly exhibition of masterpieces and contemporary art in Etihad's premium lounges in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Travellers flying in Etihad's premium cabins will also have the chance to browse a special brochure of artwork designed for all budgets - a first for any airline.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, said, "Etihad is proud to contribute to Abu Dhabi's growing reputation as a center for art. Art Connect will offer members a fantastic array of local and international art, on display and for purchase, which will create a unique atmosphere in our lounges and aboard our aircraft."

Etihad plans to introduce a special Art Channel on its in-flight entertainment service, hosted by Bertrand Epaud, Director of Opera Gallery Middle East. The channel will also air an art education television program, to promote art with local universities.

"Everyone at Opera Gallery is thrilled to be starting this innovative new project with Etihad Airways. Etihad customers will have access to many of the world's finest works of art that we offer which we believe will be hugely popular," said Epaud.

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