Etihad Airways to expand India operations

Abu Dhabi, Sep 19 (IANS/WAM) Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will greatly increase travel options to and from India with more flights and wide-bodied jets by the end of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

From Nov 1 this year, Etihad plans to more than triple the number of seats it now offers on the prime Abu Dhabi-Mumbai and Abu Dhabi-New Delhi routes, the airline said in a statement Thursday.

"India is one of the world's fastest-growing destinations, and a key market in the growth strategy of Etihad Airways," James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said in the statement.

"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," he added.

Enriching the expanded schedules will be new connection opportunities between Etihad's global network and its expanded Indian services via the airline's Abu Dhabi hub.

"The big winners will be our passengers and freight customers and the economies of India and Abu Dhabi," Hogan said.

Etihad also intends to codeshare on a wide range of flights operated within India by Jet Airways.

The UAE is home to around two million expatriate Indians.

--IANS/WAM

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