Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has announced plans to expand services between Abu Dhabi and India with its equity partner Jet Airways.
The carrier said from early 2017 the two would add 28 weekly flights and routes to three more Indian cities subject to government approval.
The new flights include a fourth daily service between Abu Dhabi and Kozhikode in the southern state of Kerala launching on March 26 next year.
Etihad will also launch a new daily service from Abu Dhabi to Ahmedabad in the Western state of Gujarat doubling its existing frequency.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways announced it would it would launch daily flights between Tiruchirappalli in the state of Tamil Nadu and Abu Dhabi from February 1.
It will also introduce daily service from Kerala’s Kannur and northern India’s Chandigarh to Abu Dhabi in the second half of 2017, subject to airport readiness.
Elsewhere, a second daily service between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi will begin on January 15.
“Our partnership with Jet Airways has gone from strength to strength. Sharing resources and reaching decisions together are key to our success. Jet Airways is Etihad Airways’ leading equity partner in terms of revenue and passenger contribution, and this expansion is indicative of the years of friendship, strong bilateral relationship, and economic, trade and cultural ties enjoyed between India and the UAE,” said James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group president and CEO.
Etihad currently operates 175 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 Indian cities, reaching 252 weekly flights and 15 cities in combination with Jet Airways.
The newly announced flights will bring their total coverage to 18 cities and 280 flights a week.
Combined, the two airlines carried 3.3 million passengers between India and Abu Dhabi last year, a 63 per cent increase on the previous year’s 2 million.
Etihad acquired its 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways for $379m in 2013.
The group also has minority investments in airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.