Etihad to fly to two more Indian destinations

August 14th, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  


Chennai, Aug 14 (IANS) Etihad Airways, the national airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), intends to increase flights to and from India, said a top company official here Thursday. India is a major market for the five-year-old airline, which operates 41 flights between the UAE and six cities in India - Mumbai, New Delhi, Cochin, Trivandrum, Chennai and Kozhikode.

Etihad will add two more cities - Kolkata and Jaipur - early next year.

“We would like to fly to Hyderabad and Bangalore. Etihad is hopeful of securing further traffic rights from Abu Dhabi to Ahmedabad and Amritsar,” James Hogan, chief executive told the reporters here.

He said Etihad’s outbound Indian passenger load factor was around 80 percent, while inbound was 60 percent.

For its overall operations, the load factor is 93 percent outbound from Abu Dhabi, and 60 percent inbound.

Hogan said Etihad employed fuel hedging actively in the past two years and was not much affected by the price hikes.

“Now that the fuel price is going down, it augurs well for us,” he added.

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