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Etihad airways to operate direct flights from Jaipur, Kolkata

August 14, 2008 16:10 IST

The United Arab Emirates national airliner Etihad airways would start operating direct flights to Abu Dhabi from Jaipur and Kolkata, from next year.

The Indian government had given permission for the airlines to operate flights from these destinations, its CEO James Hogan told a press conference in Chennai on Thursday.

"After working out the logistics we will announce the exact dates of the launch," he said.

The airlines had also sought the permission of the Centre to operate flights from Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore and Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi as part of its expansion plan, he said.

Once connected to Kolkata and Jaipur, Etihad would have doubled its Indian destinations to eight, ever since it commenced services to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi last year, before adding New Delhi and the commercial capital of Mumbai.

"We have started operating flights from Chennai and Kozhikode from August one this year and the inbound passenger load factor was about 80 to 85 per cent", Hogan said.

On India's contribution to its total revenue, Hogan parried the question and said "it's an important and significant contribution. We are not big players in India.

Once we establish our presence, we will able to put some numbers, perhaps after 24 months".

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