Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has launched flights to its latest destination in India, the city of Hyderabad.
Etihad is the first airline to operate flights between Abu Dhabi and the state capital of Andhra Pradesh. Initially operating four flights a week, Etihad will increase to daily from the start of 2010.
With the addition of Hyderabad Etihad flies to seven Indian destinations including the cities of New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. In total the airline now operates 42 flights to India each week.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to launch flights from Abu Dhabi to Hyderabad and to serve the community of Andhra Pradesh. Abu Dhabi and Hyderabad are both growing dynamic cities and the new service will enable commercial ties to develop.
“Etihad has a recognised commitment to serving the Indian market whether it is expatriate Indian nationals who are residing in countries across the world or the business and leisure traffic that is increasingly heading to cities like Hyderabad via our Abu Dhabi base.”
Mr Sripathy, CEO of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, added: “We are delighted to welcome Etihad to Hyderabad. This will provide a wider choice for travellers wishing to fly to the UAE from our airport.
“We are sure that the new service will be well received and will continue to offer our support in helping Etihad further increase frequencies on the route.”
Etihad operates a two class Airbus A320 on the new Hyderabad route configured to carry 140 passengers with 20 in business class and 120 in economy class.
Hyderabad is well-known for its rich history, culture and architecture. In recent times it has emerged as a modern centre for information technology and bio-technology industries as well as an increasingly popular conference and exhibitions location.
The city is also a centre for film-making and is home to the world’s largest film studio, the Ramoji Film City.