ETIHAD Airways has scaled up capacity on routes to India and will launch new flights to the country, driven by escalating demand for more seat capacity.
The Middle Eastern carrier is scheduled to start a daily flight to Jaipur in 1Q2014.
It will also commence between seven and 14 flights per week to Kochi from June, to Bengaluru and Chennai from July, and to Hyderabad from October. New 174-seat Airbus A321 aircraft will be deployed on the Chennai and Kochi sectors.
Capacity on existing flights have also been raised. Etihad in mid-December introduced a second daily service and wide-bodied Airbus aircraft on its routes from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi and Mumbai, effectively tripling overall capacity.
On the Mumbai route, 136-seat A320s have been swapped out in favour of 292-seat A340-600 aircraft; while 254-seat A330-200s serve the evening flight on the Abu Dhabi-New Delhi route.
Sapneal Rao, managing director of Mumbai-based SSR Holidays, said: “Etihad’s aggressive capacity increase has increased both inbound and outbound travel, as Abu Dhabi as a hub provides all the onward connections that Indian travellers need.
“Moreover, Abu Dhabi, where India ranks number one as a source market, will benefit from increased arrivals,” Rao added.