KARACHI - Saeed Ahmad, Chairman of the Special Olympics in Pakistan has expressed his gratitude to Etihad Airways for its continued support of the Pakistan Special Olympics team.

“The airline has shown its commitment and support to many different sections of Pakistani society through this partnership with us. We hope this collaboration will continue to flourish in the future”, he said in a statement issued here Sunday on the day the airlines made an announced to sponsor PSO team for second year running.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been named the official carrier for the Pakistan Special Olympics team participating in various sporting activities during the year.

Etihad Airways also supported the team in last year’s Special Olympics games held in Athens in which the 82-member Pakistani team bagged 17 gold, 25 silver and 14 bronze medals and participated in eight sports including athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, cycling, football and table tennis.

Amer Khan, Etihad Airways’ Country Manager in Pakistan said: “At Etihad Airways, we are keen to support initiatives that are designed to elevate an individual's desire to achieve. After the hugely successful event in 2011, we are delighted to once again support the many talented individuals representing Pakistan in the Special Olympics. I wish them the best of luck and I am sure they will make Pakistan proud.”

The Special Olympics program in Pakistan was initiated in Karachi in 1989 by a humanitarian group who brought together children and adults with special needs to provide them with activities and a chance to compete in sport. Today, the Special Olympics Pakistan program encompasses individuals with special needs from all over the country with more than 16,000 participants.

About Etihad Airways:  Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. Currently Etihad offers flights to over 60 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. From Pakistan, Etihad operates 23 weekly flights to Abu Dhabi – with daily flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and twice weekly from Peshawar.