Etihad to fly to Kozhikode every day from Jan

Dubai: Etihad Airways is increasing its flight frequency to south Indian Kozhikode city beginning January 1, 2013, the airline has said.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline will now more than double its flights to Kozhikode, increasing from three to seven a week, it added.

The Sri Lankan capital of Colombo will also be serviced by daily flights when services increase from four to seven per week starting from January 2, a company official said.

Etihad Airways' President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said, "India and Sri Lanka are important destinations for the airline due to strong local demand and growing traffic beyond Abu Dhabi to many key destinations across its global network."

"Kozhikode and Colombo are fast growing cities that serve as major business and trade hubs with many of their inhabitants working in the Gulf region."

"We are confident that these additional flights will be immensely beneficial to them and will offer them more options to visit their families and relatives," he said.

These increases will coincide with the re-introduction of the Pearl Business class product on both routes to cater the growing business and corporate demand and high-end leisure traffic.

The additional services will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft fitted with 16 Pearl Business Class seats and will almost double capacity on both routes, the airline said.

Additional key Etihad destinations, including Jeddah, Johannesburg, Lagos, Milan and Toronto, will be connected to Kozhikode while Geneva, Munich and Astana will be connected to Colombo, it added.

Since the start of flights to Kozhikode in 2008, Etihad Airways has carried more than 180,000 passengers.

The Colombo services were re-launched in January 2010 and have carried more than 200,000 passengers to date.

In addition to Kozhikode, the airline offers 56 flights per week connecting Abu Dhabi directly to eight key cities in India, namely Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram and most recently, Ahmedabad.