Etihad announces expansion of India operations

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 09, 2013 10:50 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) In a bid to capture the growing outbound passenger traffic from India, Etihad Airways Monday reported that it has doubled flight services between Abu Dhabi-Mumbai and Abu Dhabi-New Delhi.

"India is a significant and growing market for us," James Hogan, president and chief executive, Etihad Airways, said.

"These increases enable us to serve not only the local traffic demands between Abu Dhabi and India, but also to deliver much greater international connectivity for business and leisure guests."

The airline said it has tripled the number of seats on these sectors by adding second daily service between the two Indian cities and Abu Dhabi.

The evening flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai have been upgraded to wide-bodied Airbus A340 aircraft, while Abu Dhabi-New Delhi evening flights have been upgraded to wide-bodied A330 jet.

In another major announcement, the company said it has commenced major expansion of its Indian operations through its investment in Jet Airways.

"Both airlines are exploring synergies ranging from integration of their loyalty programs to shared airport facilities, common training and deployment of joint sales forces," Hogan added.

Recently, the Abu Dhabi based airline made a 24 percent investment in Jet Airways.

Etihad plans to use Abu Dhabi as a global hub connecting international passengers and freight with flights to and from India.

Pending the opening of a new facility, United States-bound passengers will be able to clear US immigration and customs at Abu Dhabi airport.

Etihad and Jet also plan to code-share on each others' flights between Abu Dhabi, India and other markets in the Middle East, North America and Europe.

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