//Etihad to expand operations in south India

Etihad to expand operations in south India

New Delhi, Feb 19 (UNI) Etihad Airways, the national airline of United Arab Emirates, is planning to start direct services from Abu Dhabi to south Indian destinations by the year-end.

The cities in focus include Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. At present, the airline operates 10 flights a week from India to Abu Dhabi — seven from Mumbai and three from Delhi. ”Our next focus will be south Indian destinations,” said Mr Charles Phelps-Penry, regional general manager (Asia Pacific) for Etihad Airways. ”In 2006, we plan to double our network on Indian routes. We are in talks with the Indian government for securing flying rights. We are also planning to enhance the existing flight schedule in India.” Besides south Indian cities, the airline is also contemplating to connect Amritsar and Kolkata in the near future. It has plans to double the flights from Mumbai and launch daily service to Delhi in the next three months.