india flights and destinations to double

Published March 23rd, 2007 - 03:11 GMT

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national airline, is set to expand its services to India with the launch of two new routes from Abu Dhabi to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and Kochi (Cochin) in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The new cities will double Etihad’s destinations in India to four, joining highly successful services to the commercial capital Mumbai and national capital New Delhi.

Flights from Abu Dhabi to Thiruvananthapuram will begin on 31 May, 2007 and to Kochi on
3 June, 2007.

Etihad will also increase the frequency on its Abu Dhabi to New Delhi route from three flights-per-week to a daily service at the beginning of June 2007, which will see the total number of Etihad flights to India each week rise from 10 to 21.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “India has and always will be one of Etihad’s cornerstone markets because of the historical ties with the UAE and both countries’ growing position as world-class business and holiday destinations. India is now the second fastest growing economy in the world and the demand for frequent travel to and from the Middle East will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.”

The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s services to southern India will provide an important link for the many thousands of Keralites living and working in the UAE and across the Middle East, in addition to leisure travellers flying from Europe via Abu Dhabi for holidays in the state of Kerala.

Etihad will operate the Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi services three and four times-per-week respectively and both routes are expected to increase to daily flights from October 2007.

Mr Hogan added: “In a short period of time Etihad has developed a strong reputation with our Indian customers, and we will build on this service by flying to more destinations across the country, and very soon, operating daily flights to these four major business and leisure destinations.”

Etihad will operate a three cabin Airbus A340-500 aircraft on the new Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi routes, with the capacity to carry 240 passengers with 12 in first class (diamond zone), 28 in business class (pearl zone) and 200 in economy (coral zone).

Following the launch of services to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, Etihad will fly to nine destinations on the Asian sub-continent to join New Delhi and Mumbai in India as well as Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar in Pakistan and the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

About Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.

Currently Etihad offers flights to 38 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.



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