Etihad Airways is looking at deploying aircraft earlier used to fly to China to other markets after the outbreak of novel coronavirus there, a senior company official said here on Thursday.
Talking to reporters here on the 15th anniversary of Etihad’s foray into the Indian market, Danny Barranger, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Etihad Airways said: The epidemic has so far not severely impacted the airline financially as it has a wide network globally. But it is a fluid situation and changing day by day and week by week. As far as China is concerned, we have suspended some operations. We are still operating to Beijing, but at the same time we are looking… whether we can operate those assets elsewhere in the short-term.”
On its India operations, Barranger said that India is its largest market outside of UAE, its home market.
“Etihad operates 161 return flights per week between Abu Dhabi and 10 key Indian cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram — connecting each of these gateways to international destinations throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Africa,” an Etihad statement said.
Barranger said that currently there were no plans to expand to new cities in India but the company would increase its operations in the existing destinations.
“Not in the short term… we want to make sure that we expand working in these 10 cities, making sure that they continue to upgrade. And as we get new aircraft, there will be opportunities in the future for expansion.”