Travel News

Etihad plays key role at India Aviation 2016

Sunday , 20 March 2016


Etihad Airways had two aircraft on display at the India Aviation 2016. The air show was held between March 16 and 20 in Hyderabad (although, it was only open to the public on March 19 and 20).

Around 200 brands participated in the event and there were as many as 29 aircraft on display. Among these, were Etihad’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787, which is one of the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s five Dreamliners, and its fifth and newest Boeing 777 freighter, delivered direct from the manufacturer.

Etihad Airways was the only airline with two commercial aircraft on display at Begumpet Airport, for the fifth edition of India Aviation. It participated in the associated exhibition with its Indian partner, Jet Airways.

The stand and the aircraft were visited by key figures including India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, the Honourable Ashok Gajapathi Raju; Secretary of Civil Aviation, Shri RN Choubey; UAE’s Ambassador to India, Ahmed Al Banna; and Senior Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Dr Renu Singh Parmar.

The visitors were given a guided tour of the aircraft by Etihad Airways’ Emirati staff as well as senior executives, including Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, and Neerja Bhatia, Vice President, India and Indian subcontinent.

Strategic partnership with Jet Airways

The carrier also took part in a CEO Forum and panel discussion, during which, Kevin Knight said that Etihad values its relationship with strategic partner Jet Airways.

Combined, both carriers operate 254 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and 15 different cities in India. Etihad’s current 11 Indian destinations from Abu Dhabi are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. Jet Airways offers the additional Indian gateways of Pune, Lucknow, Goa and Mangalore as well as numerous domestic connections, as codeshare services with Etihad Airways.

Also, combined, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways are the largest international operators of scheduled flights to and from India, with a 20 per cent market share.

Last year, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways carried a total of 3.3 million passengers to and from India, which was a 63 per cent increase on the number of passengers flown in 2014.


In addition, Etihad Cargo, the carrier’s freight division, operates dedicated freighters to four Indian metro cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru) from Abu Dhabi.

Around 120,000 tons of cargo is carried to and from India, every year, by Etihad Cargo—amounting to a 9 per cent share of the Indian international freight market.

The UAE-India relationship

Knight also spoke about the strong and growing financial ties between the UAE and India. The UAE is the 10th largest foreign (and largest Arab) investor in India.

Ahead of the event, James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This week’s India Aviation show in Hyderabad enables Etihad Airways to show our unwavering support for trade and tourism in one of the world’s most dynamic economies.”

He added, “Since our first flight into India 12 years ago, Etihad Airways has supported trade, commerce and job creation, as well as contributed to the tourism industry. Our passenger flights have given the travelling public from India greater choice and more connectivity to destinations worldwide over our Abu Dhabi hub.”

The air show was organised by India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). It was inaugurated by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.