Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will greatly increase options for travel to and from India, introducing more flights and wide-body jets by the end of this year, and further increases and new routes next year, subject to regulatory approval.
From 1 November this year, Etihad Airways plans to more than triple the number of seats it now offers on the prime Abu Dhabi – Mumbai and Abu Dhabi – New Delhi routes, reflecting the growing importance of the Indian market, and delivering significant economic benefits to the economies of India and Abu Dhabi.
Enriching the expanded schedules will be new connection opportunities between Etihad Airways’ global network and its expanded Indian services, via the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “India is one of the world’s fastest-growing destinations, and a key market in the growth strategy of Etihad Airways.
“Following the recent signing of a new air services agreement between India and the UAE, we now have the opportunity to add significant capacity between the two countries, not only meeting existing demand for trade and tourist travel but also ensuring that we can meet the continued strong growth which is expected between our two countries. The big winners will be our passengers and freight customers and the economies of India and Abu Dhabi.”
By 31 December, 2013, Etihad Airways plans to:
- Increase from daily to double-daily its Abu Dhabi-Mumbai and Abu Dhabi – New Delhi flights;
- Use wide-bodied Airbus A340-600 aircraft on one of the daily Abu Dhabi – Mumbai flights, offering First, Business and Economy Classes;
- Use wide-bodied Airbus A330-200 aircraft on one of the daily Abu Dhabi – New Delhi flights, offering Business and Economy Class; and
- Upgrade daily Abu Dhabi – Chennai flights from 136-seat Airbus A320s to new Airbus A321s, seating 174 passengers.
Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad also intends to code share on a wide range of flights operated within India by Jet Airways.
Specific details of new routes between Abu Dhabi and India and code share services with Jet Airways will be announced progressively, as approvals are received and operational details are finalised.