04 May 2016 13:30
India continues to be a crucial part of Etihad Airways’ growth strategy contributing significantly to the airline’s global operations, to job creation and to connectivity for India.
media conference in Mumbai to mark the launch of Etihad Airways’ daily A380
service to India’s commercial capital, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer,
Peter Baumgartner, said that the airline had stimulated competition, created
thousands of jobs, helped drive inbound tourism, and connected India to the
“Bringing our flagship product to India is further proof of its significance
as a market, and more importantly, our commitment to the country’s economy,”
added Mr Baumgartner.
“The importance of Indian partner Jet Airways and the contribution
of the Etihad Airways / Jet Airways partnership to the Indian aviation industry,
also cannot be underestimated,” he said.
“In Jet Airways we have a key ally, a strategic partner,
and a true friend in the Indian skies that gives us the combined strength and
enhanced competitive edge to provide what demanding consumers want today –
greater choice, more travel options, better products and a superior travel
experience,” he explained.
was speaking as the airline celebrated the introduction this week of its Airbus
A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, on the Abu Dhabi – Mumbai route. The 496-seat
aircraft features innovative products including the revolutionary,
award-winning ‘The Residence’ – a three-room suite comprising a living room,
shower and bedroom among its four-class products.
He added: “With the aircraft
upgrade, Etihad Airways is able to offer an all-A380 daily service in both
directions between Mumbai and New York JFK International with a seamless connection
over Abu Dhabi, along with the unique
USA customs border protection which enables guests to pre-clear US customs at
Abu Dhabi International Airport and arrive in the US as domestic passengers. The service is operated as a codeshare flight
with Jet Airways.
“The 63 per cent growth in passenger traffic last year on
both airlines to and from India is the result of hard work and close cooperation
to provide an appealing product to travellers.”
3.3 million guests were carried between India and Abu Dhabi on the combined
networks, making the Etihad Airways / Jet Airways partnership the strongest,
biggest and most diverse offering in Indian aviation. The two carriers have the
largest international market share of any airline carrying 21 per cent, or 1 in
5 travellers, to and from India.
airlines together operate 254 flights each week from 15 gateway cities across India
to Abu Dhabi with connections to key destinations worldwide. Etihad Airways’ current 11
destinations to and from Abu Dhabi are: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata,
Kozhikode, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. Jet Airways
offers the additional Indian gateways of Pune, Lucknow, Goa and Mangalore, as
well as numerous domestic connections as codeshare services with Etihad
a member of Etihad Airways Partners, a brand that brings together partner airlines
to offer customers more choice globally, Jet Airways contributes to the world’s
seventh largest aviation group which carries more than 111 million passengers globally
India is the
third largest trading partner of the UAE. And the UAE is the 10th
biggest foreign investor – and largest Arab partner – in India with bilateral
trade currently worth US$60 billion and estimated to grow 60 per cent over the
next five years to US$100 billion. Etihad Airways has nine per cent share of
the Indian international freight market with 120,000 tons of cargo carried
annually to and from India, fully endorsing and supporting the government’s ‘Make
in India’ campaign.
Mr Baumgartner explained that the airline’s
partnership with India extended beyond just air services to promotional and
sponsorship opportunities, including the Mumbai Indians and Lakme Fashion Week.
The airline is also a founding member of the UAE Business Council in India
designed to engage companies in discussing growing business opportunities
between the two countries.