Etihad Airways of the UAE, on Thursday, announced plans to significantly increase its seats to and from India.
This follows the recent Cabinet approval for the India-Abu Dhabi bilateral air services agreement, allowing airlines from both countries to fly 50,370 seats each week, up from the current level of 13,700
The airline said it would introduce more flights and wide-bodied jets by the end of this year to further increase its operations besides introducing new routes, subject to regulatory approval, next year.
From November 1, Etihad will more than triple the number of seats it now offers on the Abu Dhabi-Mumbai and Abu Dhabi-New Delhi routes.
By December end, Etihad plans to increase from daily to double-daily its Abu Dhabi-Mumbai and Abu Dhabi-New Delhi flights. Etihad would also upgrade its daily Abu Dhabi-Chennai flights.
“India is one of the world’s fastest-growing destinations, and a key market in the growth strategy of Etihad Airways,” Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said.
“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 the existing demand for trade and tourist travel, but also ensuring that we can meet the continued strong growth, which is expected between two countries,” Mr. Hogan added.
Etihad also plans to code-share on a wide range of flights operated within India by Jet Airways.
Meanwhile, the Rs.2,058-crore Jet-Etihad deal, whereby the later would pick up 24 per cent stake in the former is still awaiting final approval.