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Etihad Airways, UAE's flag carrier, has announced expansion of its first flight operations to northeast India with the launch of a daily service between Abu Dhabi and Kolkata.
Commencing on February 15, 2015, the new flights will bring the total number of Indian cities served by Etihad Airways to 11, with existing routes including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, New Delhi and Trivandrum.
James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said: "India, one of the world's largest growing travel markets, has always been an important destination for Etihad Airways."
"The launch of our new Kolkata services demonstrates our enduring commitment to serve the Indian market and people, whether in India or overseas," Hogan said.
"We are confident that this new service, our first to Northeastern India, will boost travel and trade between the UAE and India, further strengthen our presence in India, and connect key strategic cities with Abu Dhabi," he said.
The new Abu Dhabi - Kolkata route will be operated by a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft configured to carry 136 passengers, with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class seats, offering a total of 1,904 seats per week, a statement released by the airlines said.
Hogan said that beyond Etihad's Abu Dhabi hub, travellers will have opportunities to connect to the Gulf region and Middle East as well as Europe, North America and Africa.
Etihad Airways has announced six new routes for the first half of 2015, starting with Kolkata in February, Madrid in March, Entebbe in May, and Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Algiers in June, it said.