In a bid to expand its network in India, the national airline of UAE, Etihad Airways, has recently begun to operate flights to Hyderabad, its latest destination in the country. With this launch, Etihad has become the first airline to connect Abu Dhabi with the capital of Andhra Pradesh. As of now, it is operating four flights a week, but intends to run daily flights from the beginning of 2010.
Etihad now flies to seven Indian destinations in India, including Hyderabad, the other six being New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. This takes the total number of Etihad flights to India to 42 a week. The air service will operate a two-class Airbus A320 on the new Hyderabad route, which can ferry 140 passengers, 20 in business class and 120 in economy class.
James Hogan, Chief Executive of Etihad Airways, expressed delight on the new launch, saying that both Hyderabad and Abu Dhabhi are growing dynamic cities, and the connectivity will facilitate development of commercial ties between them. He also stated that Etihad has a recognized commitment to serving the Indian market and the new service will benefit the community of Andhra Pradesh.