Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this week celebrates its very successful fifth year of operations in Qatar.

In June 2006, Etihad began flights to Qatar from its home base Abu Dhabi, flying four times a week. Now it operates four flights a day, due to a steadily growing demand for its award-winning economy and business class inspired service.

Etihad enters its sixth year of operations in the peninsula from new bespoke offices located in Doha’s Al Muntazah district re-launched earlier this year. The short flight from Doha International Airport to Abu enables travellers to connect to 67 destinations worldwide, including new services to Malé in the Maldives and Mahé in the Republic of Seychelles from November.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our Doha service has proved to be one of the airline’s most successful route launches to date. Since launching flights to the city in June 2006, we have seen phenomenal traffic growth in passenger numbers. We look forward to seeing continued strong demand on our services.”

Etihad’s Country Manager for Qatar, Ahmed Al Halyan, said: “Etihad is proud to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its operations in Qatar. Like Etihad itself, Qatar is booming and witnessing exciting levels of growth and expansion.

“With increased business and leisure activity leading to extra demand for Etihad’s services, Qatar is definitely a ‘hot spot’ in the region, and a great place to do business.”

Qatar’s victory in the bidding for the 2022 World Cup and the huge year-on-year growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product are just two things that underline Etihad’s confidence in its Qatar services.

“Etihad is very pleased to be doing well in such a business-friendly country and we look forward to more success in the future, as Qatar continues to prosper,” Mr Al Halyan said.

Etihad was recently named as the Middle East Leading Airline at the annual World Travel Awards event held earlier in Dubai.  The Abu Dhabi-based airline also received the Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class award, Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff award and Middle East’s Leading Airline In-flight Entertainment award.

Among a raft of awards in recent years, Etihad has been most recently been recognised by global online travel agents Expedia for the 2010 “Airline Campaign of the Year”, an award presented to the airline that has created the most impactful marketing campaign, encompassing engagement, creativity, relevancy and productive results.

Expedia has been recognised for its advertising campaigns since 2007, with awards for innovation, integrated marketing and destination campaigns, among others. Etihad has also been recognised for implementing online marketing campaigns that utilise brand integration, user experience and engagement, social media and video strategy.