Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has paid tribute to travel agents in Kuwait at a gala dinner at the Kuwait Marriott Hotel.

The event recognised the Kuwaiti travel industry’s continuous business support and commitment to the UAE carrier, on the back of improved route and revenue performance.

In 2011, Etihad Airways carried 180,000 passengers to and from Kuwait, an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year.

Awards were presented to 15 strongly performing agencies in Diamond, Pearl and Coral categories.  Etihad Airways also acknowledged five other agencies with appreciation awards.

The prestigious event was attended by 250 travel partners from 110 leading local travel companies, as well as senior travel industry officials.

Nabil Matarweh, Etihad Airways Country Manager for Kuwait, said: “We are delighted to have the continuous support of the Kuwaiti travel industry, which has played a vital role in taking our success in Kuwait to new heights.

“We owe much of this success to the importance of our business relationships with agencies and agents, who, day-in day-out, sell our service and we believe it is only right that we  recognise and reward their support.

“2012 will be an exciting year for Etihad Airways in Kuwait as we plan to work even more closely with our corporate guests to ensure they receive nothing but the best travel service and experience when flying with us.”

Etihad Airways has been flying to Kuwait since July 2006.  From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the airline offers triple daily services to and from Kuwait, with seamless connections through Abu Dhabi to more than 80 passenger and cargo destinations internationally.