Middle East

Etihad to strengthen India network


Etihad Airways has announced that Mumbai and New Delhi will become its first destinations in India to be served with triple-daily flights, strengthening its offering with Jet Airways into and out of the country.

Both cities will be upgraded from their current double-daily frequencies, with the third daily flight to Mumbai starting on 15 February 2015 and to New Delhi on 1 May 2015. The development will provide business and leisure travellers with more options throughout the day between the UAE and India, and enhance India’s connections with markets across Etihad Airways’ global network.

Along with Jet Airways’ services, both airlines will connect Abu Dhabi to 14 Indian cities, with over 200 return flights each week. This includes five flights a day to Mumbai, four flights a day to New Delhi, three flights a day to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi, two flights a day to Ahmedabad and Kozhikode, and daily flights to Jaipur and Trivandrum.

Etihad Airways will also launch a daily service to Kolkata, capital of West Bengal, on 15 February 2015 to support its long-term development plan in India, and Jet Airways has announced it will soon launch daily services between Abu Dhabi and Goa, Lucknow and Pune.

In addition to the airline’s network developments, Etihad Airways has upgraded its aircraft on a number of Indian routes, including the debut of three-class, wide-body aircraft on select flights. The airline will also operate its new Boeing 787-9 on Mumbai evening services in January 2015.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “India is expected to become the world’s third largest air passenger market within the next 20 years, and we are focused on providing travellers with the best possible offering into and out of the country, in terms of world-class service, extensive network coverage and multiple flight options each day.

“Already in the first half of 2014, more than 620,000 passengers flew on our India services, a substantial increase of 51 per cent year-on-year. The launch of triple-daily services to Mumbai and New Delhi, our most popular routes in India, will allow us to meet growing market demand.

“Our relationship with Jet Airways will also continue to play an important role. Both airlines’ depth and breadth in India is stronger than any of our regional competitors and there are significant opportunities to increase our frequencies on existing routes, and introduce more Indian destinations into our network, which will set us even further apart from other airlines.”

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