Etihad Airways, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, was supporting India Aviation 2016 this week welcoming Indian and foreign dignitaries to its two aircraft on static display at the air show being held in Hyderabad. The airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787, one of the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s five Dreamliners, is joined by its fifth and newest Boeing 777 freighter delivered direct from the aircraft manufacturer.
Etihad Airways was the only airline with two commercial aircraft on show at Begumpet Airport, demonstrating the importance of the Indian aviation market to the carrier. It was also participating in the associated exhibition with strategic Indian partner Jet Airways.
VIP visitors to the aircraft and joint exhibition stand included: India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, the Honourable Ashok Gajapathi Raju; Secretary of Civil Aviation Shri R. N. Choubey; the UAE Ambassador to India, His Excellency Ahmed Al Banna; and Senior Economic Advisor at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Dr Renu Singh Parmar.
They were welcomed for guided aircraft tours by Etihad Airways’ Emirati staff together with senior executives including Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, and Neerja Bhatia, Vice President India and Indian subcontinent.
Organised by India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the air show provided Etihad Airways with another platform to engage with key policy makers, business leaders, aviation experts and others across the aviation industry.
Etihad Airways also took part in a CEO Forum and panel discussion at which Kevin Knight spoke of the important relationship the airline has enjoyed with equity partner Jet Airways as both carriers combined operate 254 flights each week between Abu Dhabi and 15 cities across India. Together, they are the largest international operators of scheduled flights to and from India with a 20 per cent market share. Etihad Airways shared its views on how airlines and governments can work together to drive economic growth and create new jobs through the expansion of air services that are connecting India to markets around the world.
In addition, Etihad Cargo, Etihad Airways’ freight division, operates dedicated freighters to four Indian metro cities from Abu Dhabi. With 120,000 tons of cargo carried annually to and from India, it holds nine per cent share of the Indian international freight market.
Mr Knight also spoke of the strong and growing economic ties shared between the UAE and India, and Etihad Airways’ commitment to India by showcasing two of its newest aircraft at this week’s air show. The UAE is the 10th biggest foreign – and largest Arab – investor in India.