x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Abu Dhabi's airport bonds with Narita

Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Abu Dhabi International sign an agreement to become sisters after the inaugural flight by Etihad Airways to the Japanese capital.

You have heard of sister cities, but now Abu Dhabi has landed its very own sister airport. Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Abu Dhabi International signed an agreement yesterday to become sisters after the inaugural flight by Etihad Airways to the Japanese capital. The airports said they would "create joint strategies for developing the routes linking the two airports", promote opportunities between the business communities in both markets and exchange expertise in airport operations, environment, ground transport and logistics.

And setting up sister airports is, it seems, a brisk business. In Japan, Chubu Centrair International Airport has forged a bond of kinship with Munich, while Macao has been one of the most prolific, announcing sister agreements with airports on Australia's Gold Coast, Farnborough in the UK and Hainan, China. Even Abu Dhabi airport is no stranger to the practice. Last September it announced familial ties with Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. This also happened after Etihad opened services there.

Emirates Airline and Etihad launched flights to Tokyo this week, and Qatar Airways is scheduled to start its own flights there next month. All will be seeking more access, which will be no mean feat. But Etihad just may have the advantage since it is now part of the family. igale@thenational.ae