Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will expand its destination network in India with the launch of a daily service from Abu Dhabi to Jaipur.
The new flights, which will commence on 1 April 2014, bring the total number of Indian cities served by Etihad Airways to 10, with existing routes including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, New Delhi and Trivandrum.
Boasting a population of 3.1 million, Jaipur is the capital of the Rajasthan province in Northern India and ranks as the country’s 8th largest economy, fuelled by key industries such as textiles, gems and jewellery, agro-processing, auto and auto components, and mineral-based industries.
The ‘Pink City’, as Jaipur is often described, is also home to some of India’s most important heritage sites and has emerged as a flourishing tourist destination, reinforced by its inclusion in the world-renowned ‘Golden Triangle’ alongside the neighbouring cities of Delhi and Agra.
Etihad Airways will operate the daily service to Jaipur with Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration, featuring 16 Pearl Business Class seats and 120 Coral Economy Class seats.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “India is one of the world’s fastest-growing destinations, and a key market in the growth strategy of Etihad Airways. We are excited to introduce Jaipur into our network, a move that will create significant benefits for our passengers, as well as the economies of India and the UAE.
“Our daily service to Jaipur will offer travellers across the world with access to one of India’s most exciting destinations, while providing those in India with seamless connections to the Gulf region and Middle East, as well as Africa, Europe and North America, via our Abu Dhabi hub.”
In addition to introducing new destinations in India, Etihad Airways has been increasing the frequency of its existing services to the country, with plans to more than triple the number of seats on the prime Abu Dhabi – Mumbai and Abu Dhabi – New Delhi routes.
Etihad Airways has announced that by 31 December 2013, it plans to:
Increase from daily to double-daily its Abu Dhabi-Mumbai and Abu Dhabi-New Delhi flights;
Use wide-bodied Airbus A340-600 aircraft on one of the daily Abu Dhabi – Mumbai flights, offering First, Business and Economy Classes;
Use wide-bodied Airbus A330-200 aircraft on one of the daily Abu Dhabi - New Delhi flights, offering Business and Economy Class; and
Upgrade daily Abu Dhabi – Chennai flights from 136-seat Airbus A320s to new Airbus A321s, seating 174 passengers.
Etihad Airways, which concluded its purchase of a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways on 20 November 2013, also intends to codeshare on a wide range of Jet Airways flights operated within India, subject to regulatory approval. Specific details will be announced progressively, as approvals are received and operational details are finalised.
Flights to Jaipur can be booked from today on www.etihad.com , through Etihad Airways Contact Centres, or via travel agents.