Abu-Dhabi owned Etihad Airways announced plans to increase and update their services to central cities in the Indian continent from January 2013.
The airline stated that the flights to the southern city of Kozhikode will double from three to seven flights a week and that there will be daily flights to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, with an increase from four to seven flights per week.
Etihad Airways’ announcement of increasing flights to the subcontinent follows days after reports that Etihad were to buy 24 percent stake in India’s jet airways in an agreement worth $400m.
The increase in flights coincides with the re-introduction of Etihad’s Pear Business Class product for both routes which cater for the business and corporate demands. The airline also announced additional services that will be operated by the Airbus A320 aircraft. This will allow the company to double its capacity for both flight paths.
President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said “India and Sri Lanka are important destinations for us due to strong local demand and growing traffic beyond Abu Dhabi to many key destinations across out global network.”
“Kozhikode and Colombo are fast growing cities that serve as major business and trade hubs with many of their inhabitants working in the Gulf region We are confident that these additional flights will be immensely beneficial to them and will offer them more options to visit their families and relatives,” he added.
Since flights to Kozhikode were launched in 2008, Etihad Airways has recorded more than 180,000 passengers. Meanwhile, the re-launch of the Colombo route in 2010, Etihad has seen more than 200,000 passengers embark the flight plan to date.