Etihad set to fly to Hyderabad in November
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is to boost its Indian flying programme with the addition of Hyderabad to its expanding global network.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline will become the first airline to operate flights between its home base and the state capital of Andhra Pradesh, when it launches its non-stop, four times a week service from November 2009. The service will become daily from the start of 2010.
The addition of Hyderabad brings the number of Indian destinations served by Etihad to seven and follows successful bi-lateral talks between the governments of the UAE and India, aimed at further liberalising flying links between the two countries.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Etihad has made no secret of the fact that it wants to build up its Indian services and looks forward to expand its flying programme to the country with the launch of this exciting new service.
“Hyderabad is a key Indian destination not currently served directly from Abu Dhabi. It therefore represents a great opportunity for our airline, one which I am sure will be warmly welcomed by the large Hyderabadi community living and working within the Emirate.
“As well as strong point-to-point traffic, we expect Hyderabad to make a significant contribution to the rest of our network, with particularly strong connecting traffic flows linking India to both North America and Europe.”
Mr Sripathy, CEO of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, added: “We are delighted to see Etihad commence its new Hyderabad service in November. This will provide a wider choice for travellers wishing to fly to the United Arab Emirates from our airport. We are sure that the new service will be well received and will continue to offer our support in helping Etihad further increase frequencies on the route.”
Known as the ‘City of Pearls’ and ‘City of Nizams’, Hyderabad is well-known for its rich history, culture and architecture and, in recent times, has emerged as a modern centre for information technology and bio-technology industries as well as an increasingly popular conference and exhibitions location. The city is also a centre for film-making and is home to the world's largest film studio, the Ramoji Film City.
Mr Hogan added: “The governments and civil aviation authorities of the UAE and India, and particularly the Department of Transport of Abu Dhabi, deserve great credit for further opening up air links between these two emerging nations and allowing Etihad to grow its services to developing cities in India such as Hyderabad.”
Etihad currently operates 38 flights a week from the UAE to India, with flights from Abu Dhabi to the commercial capital Mumbai, the national capital New Delhi, and also Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kochi (Cochin) and Kozhikode (Calicut) in the southern Indian state of Kerala, as well as Chennai (Madras).
The airline is also pushing to secure further traffic rights from Abu Dhabi to other India cities, including Bangalore.
Etihad will operate a two class Airbus A320 on the new Hyderabad route configured to carry 140 passengers with 20 in business class and 120 in economy class.