Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is set to boost its flying programme to Europe with the addition of a major new route to Athens. Direct flights to the Greek capital city will start at the beginning of June 2009. Athens will bring Etihad’s global flight network to 53 cities, supplementing services to Melbourne in Australia due to be launched in the middle of the year. The decision by Emirates Airlines to commence a second daily flight between Athens and Dubai on March 29 in combination with the Melbourne-Athens route will boost the number of passengers travelling from Australia to Greece. The Etihad Airways flights from Melbourne to Athens to commence in June will be conducted every Monday, Thursday and Saturday with a stopover in Abu Dhabi.