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Thu 27 Oct 2016 03:56 PM

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Abu Dhabi's Etihad announces major expansion of India flights

From early 2017, Etihad and partner Jet Airways plans to add 28 weekly flights and three more Indian cities

Abu Dhabi's Etihad announces major expansion of India flights
James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group president and CEO.

Etihad Airways on Thursday announced the expansion of scheduled services between Abu Dhabi and India as strategic partner Jet Airways unveiled new routes and additional frequencies.

From early 2017, the two airlines will expand their services between the UAE and India by adding 28 weekly flights and three more Indian cities, subject to government approval.

Etihad Airways currently operates 175 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 Indian cities. Together, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways offer 252 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 15 cities across India.

With the newly-announced flights, the airlines’ cooperative services will cover 18 Indian cities with 280 flights each week, Etihad said in a statement.

Etihad Airways will launch a fourth daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Kozhikode on March 26 2017, while it will also double its frequency between Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, from February 1 2017 with the launch of a new daily service.

Jet Airways has also announced a number of changes to its operations between India and Abu Dhabi including the launch of daily flights between Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), in the state of Tamil Nadu, and Abu Dhabi on February 1 2017, plus plans to introduce daily services from Kannur, the fourth Kerala gateway to Abu Dhabi.

It also plans daily services from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh to Abu Dhabi. The two routes are due to begin in the second half of 2017, subject to the completion of operational readiness at these airports.

From January 15 2017, Jet Airways said it will also introduce a second daily service between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi.

In 2015, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways together carried a record 3.3 million passengers between Abu Dhabi and India – a 63 percent increase over the 2 million passengers flown in 2014.

James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group president and CEO, said: “Today’s announcement reflects how we have been working together to enhance our services to give the travelling public more and better choices by using each other's networks.

“Our partnership with Jet Airways has gone from strength to strength. Sharing resources and reaching decisions together are key to our success. Jet Airways is Etihad Airways’ leading equity partner in terms of revenue and passenger contribution, and this expansion is indicative of the years of friendship, strong bilateral relationship, and economic, trade and cultural ties enjoyed between India and the UAE.”

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