Two UAE-based airlines to start India operations
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Two UAE-based airlines to start India operations

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Monday, 24 May 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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DUBAI: Two UAE-based airlines, Etihad and the popular budget carrier Air Arabia are ready to start services to India, raising the prospects of lowering the air fare.

The Abu Dhabi-based Etihad airline secured traffic rights to India recently while the Sharjah Government owned-airline Air Arabia is holding serious discussions with Civil Aviation Ministry in India for flying to the subcontinent, media reports said in Dubai.

"Etihad has secured traffic rights to India and we will start daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai from August end," Etihad vice president, operations Capt Werner Borchert said.

"India is a key market for the airline which plans to fly other destinations in the country," he said.

Air Arabia which caught the imagination of the Gulf air travellers by offering rock bottom prices to destinations in the region said they were keen to fly to India too. Air Arabia charges less than Dh 500 (Rs 6000) for a return ticket to Colombo whereas the lowest Air India fare to Trivandrum which is shorter in distance is Dh 1700 (Rs 20000) now.

"We are still in discussion process and will inform the public as and when we have final authorisation to fly there. Once authorisation is given, Air Arabia will start flights immediately," Ali Fairooz, Air Arabia's director of marketing and distribution said.

"Some of the first Indian cities that Air Arabia is targeting include Mumbai, Cochin and Trivandrum," he said.

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