Based in the capital, Colombo, Mr De Silva, a Sri Lankan national, will re-establish the airline's office and oversee its operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Joost den Hartog, Etihad Airways' regional general manager for North Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, said: "Etihad is very pleased to be coming back to Sri Lanka and looks forward to the successful resumption of flights in January 2010. We have an enormous opportunity to make a real contribution to the growth of trade and tourism as Sri Lanka re-establishes its position in the global arena.
"Mr De Silva's extensive experience in the airline industry and his in-depth local knowledge will be invaluable in growing the operation between Abu Dhabi and Colombo."
During his five-year association with Etihad Airways Mr De Silva has set up three new outstation operations in Colombo, Tehran and Kathmandu. He has a wealth of commercial airline experience in senior management positions at Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines and Thai Airways.
When it resumes operations to Colombo in January 2010, Etihad will operate four flights per week from Abu Dhabi to Sri Lanka's largest city and commercial capital, using an Airbus A320 aircraft.
The timing of the flights has been carefully scheduled to facilitate onward connections from a number of key destinations on the airline's network, including Moscow and North America.
Flight EY266 will depart Abu Dhabi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 9.40pm and arrive at Colombo's Bandaranaike international airport at 3.30am the following day. Return flight EY267 will depart Colombo on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 4.30am, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 7.45am the same morning.