Etihad Airways will begin to operate its award-winning Airbus A380 between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai from the 1st May 2016. This additional destination will add to the airline’s other A380 routes to London, New York, Sydney and, from June 2016, Melbourne.
There is a growing trend with airlines looking to develop increased services to India as part of their global expansion. Etihad will operate a daily service, flight EY204, from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai, and EY203 from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi. Both flights will carry the 9W code of Etihad Airways’ strategic partner Jet Airways. These flights will connect with the airline’s other A380 flights to New York, allowing guests to experience the double-decker aircraft throughout their journey.
Passengers flying onboard the Etihad Airways’ A380 service will also have access to a range of popular connecting destinations from Abu Dhabi. Thess include Chicago, San Francisco or Toronto in North America, and Bahrain, Doha or Jeddah in the Gulf region.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The A380 has set a new benchmark for luxury and innovation and we are delighted to announce that this world-class service will soon be available to guests flying to and from Mumbai.”
“Furthermore, the A380 out of Mumbai will connect seamlessly at our Abu Dhabi hub to the A380 service to New York, offering our New York-bound guests the comfort, convenience and superior inflight service of A380 flights all the way.”
Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, today welcomed the news, saying: “This announcement by Etihad is yet another sign of international confidence in the powerhouse economy of Maharashtra. I look forward to the growth in tourism and business that this service can bring to our state.”
Etihad Airways’ thrice-daily service to Mumbai, in addition to Jet Airways’ double daily service, offers passengers access to more than 2,000 weekly connections in 57 markets across the Gulf region, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.
With a total capacity of 496 seats, the A380 has 50 per cent more seats than the Boeing B777-300ER it replaces, offering more options for tourism growth into India, USA and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways is carrying an increasing number of air travellers from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and The Americas to cities across India, helping drive economic growth throughout the country, and not just the metropolitan areas. In 2014, nearly one million guests who travelled on Etihad Airways’ India flights began their journey from outside the country, representing almost 70 per cent of total passengers who flew to and from India with the Abu Dhabi-based airline.
All passengers flying to New York are processed through US Preclearance in Abu Dhabi which allows them to pass through all US immigration and customs checks and arrive in the US as domestic passengers.
Through the partnership with Jet Airways, passengers flying into India are able to connect to numerous tourism and commercial destinations across the country.