13 Aug 2015 12:00
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, today met the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Hon. Devendra Fadnavis, to reaffirm the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s commitment to the Indian state and its capital Mumbai.
Mr Hogan, accompanied by Vijay Poonoosamy, the
airline’s Vice President, International & Public Affairs and Neerja Bhatia,
General Manager – India, met Chief Minister Fadnavis at his official residence
in India’s commercial capital.
During the meeting the Chief Minister outlined the
priorities of the state, identifying areas of mutual interest and opportunities
for Etihad Airways to support economic growth.
The Chief Minister and Mr Hogan discussed new areas of
collaboration between Maharashtra and Etihad Airways, especially in tourism and
In turn, Mr Hogan gave the Chief Minister an
introduction to Etihad Airways, its operations into India and the significant
benefits that come from the airline’s commercial and strategic partnership with
Indian carrier, Jet Airways, for both India and Jet Airways.
Etihad Airways and Jet Airways together operate more
than 220 flights between India and Abu Dhabi each week, including five daily
flights from Mumbai and a daily flight from Pune.
Mr Hogan also made the Chief Minister
aware that Etihad Airways carries more business and leisure travellers into
India than it takes out. In 2014 the number of flights to India, purchased in
Europe, the GCC, and United States, rose by 65 per cent compared to the
In the first six months of 2015 Etihad Airways
transferred more than 235,000 guests onto Jet Airways’ network into India
through its codeshare partnership, with Jet Airways providing 182,000 guests
onto the Etihad Airways network.
Etihad Airways was the first foreign airline to invest
in an Indian carrier under the current FDI policy of India, making a USD750
million investment which includes a 24 per cent equity stake in the airline.
Etihad Cargo also carries more than 1,200 tonnes of
Indian products and exports to key markets in Europe, US and the Middle East each
week and operates a dedicated freighter operation from Mumbai.
In the last five years, Etihad Airways
has carried more than five million guests on its services to and from India.
Relations between the UAE and India continue to
build with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to visit the United Arab
Emirates on 16 and 17 August.