Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Etihad to step up Indian flight frequency and capacity

Etihad Airways plans to ramp up its seats and flights to India in the coming months.

Etihad Airways plans to ramp up its seats and flights to India in the coming months, including tripling the capacity on its routes between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai and New Delhi, the airline said yesterday.

The announcement comes after a petition was filed in India’s supreme court this week questioning the links between the recent Abu Dhabi-India air service bilateral agreement, which allows increased capacity between the destinations, and Etihad’s plan to buy a stake in Jet Airways as part of a US$600 million deal.

Its planned increase in seats and flights would be subject to regulatory approval, Etihad said.

The additional capacity would benefit both Abu Dhabi’s and India’s economies, it said.

“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,” said James Hogan, the president and chief executive of Etihad. “The big winners will be our passengers and freight customers and the economies of India and Abu Dhabi.”

By the end of this year, Etihad wants to increase its flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai and Abu Dhabi and New Delhi from daily to double-daily.

It also wants to use wide-bodied Airbus aircraft for some of the flights. Etihad also intends to start using new Airbus A321s, which seat 174 passengers, for its Chennai flights to replace its 136-seat Airbus A320 flights.

“Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad also intends to codeshare on a wide range of flights operated within India by Jet Airways,” Etihad added.

Etihad at the beginning of this month extended the deadline for regulatory approvals on the Jet Airways deal to the end of the month. The agreement was first announced in April and it was cleared by India’s foreign investment promotion board in July, but the stake purchase still has to be approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs.

Mr Hogan added that India was “one of the world’s fastest-growing destinations, and a key market in the growth strategy of Etihad Airways”.

In another development, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines said yesterday that they have signed an initial agreement to establish a full-service airline in India and are jointly seeking approval from the Indian government for it.

Tata Sons, which controls India’s diversified Tata Group, will own a 51 per cent stake in the new venture, while Singapore Airlines will have the rest, according to a joint news release.

“The Indian aviation industry is projected to experience future high growth rates,” Singapore Airlines said in a statement. “The recent Indian government decision to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in Indian carriers provides an opportunity for SIA to participate directly in one of the fastest-growing and largest aviation markets globally.”

Tata Sons had earlier signed a separate agreement with AirAsia to set up a low-cost airline in India.

business@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 An air traffic control tower is seen at the central terminal of LaGuardia Airport on April 8, 2014. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

In pictures: New York’s LaGuardia Airport in need of a rebuild

With constraints on its resources and no appetite for further debt, private investors and developers are being tapped to rebuild the 50-year-old central terminal for $3.6 billion, instead of using traditional public finance methods.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 An Uber taxi driver drives his car through a street in New Delhi, India. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

In pictures: On-demand cab service app Uber targets India

Taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia with the company starting operations in 18 cities in Asia and the South Pacific including Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and five Indian cities in the last year.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National