Etihad Airways Grows India Network With Two New Routes

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, India

Etihad has opened new links to India with two destinations in Kerala, including one to Thiruvananthapuram (above).

Credit: Dmytro Gilitukha/Alamy Stock Photo

Etihad Airways has added two new Indian cities to its network as the United Arab Emirates carrier emphasizes its intention to grow services in the burgeoning Indian air transport market.

On Jan. 1, the carrier launched flights between its Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) base and both Kozhikode (CCJ) and Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) in the state of Kerala, India.

Both routes are scheduled to run daily through Oct. 26, 2024, according to an Etihad statement.

The carrier notes it now serves 10 destinations in India, “underscoring the airline’s commitment” to expanding air travel “to and from the subcontinent.”

“We have established a fantastic group of nonstop routes between India and Abu Dhabi, providing customers with easier access to our growing network without transiting through one of the main Indian hub airports," Etihad CEO CEO Antonoaldo Neves says. 

"Seamless and practical connections at Abu Dhabi ensure that [passengers from India] can easily access destinations across the [Middle East], Europe—including our four daily services to London—and North America.”

Neves has previously called India “a priority” for Etihad. 

The airline resumed flights from AUH to Kolkata in 2023, calling the city “a vital Indian gateway connecting eastern India to global destinations.” Etihad says it has boosted frequencies from AUH to both New Delhi and Mumbai from 2X-daily to 4X-daily. 

Etihad says the new flights to CCJ and TRV will lead to “increased inbound tourism” to Kerala, known for its beaches. The airline adds the routes will also be attractive to “professionals visiting the burgeoning business hubs in the area.”

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.