Etihad Airways today launched daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Kolkata (Calcutta), the airline’s 11th destination in India on its own, and its 15th destination in combination with network partner Jet Airways.
Flight EY256 departed Etihad Airways’ hub at 11:10 and is scheduled to land at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in the West Bengal capital at 17:20 this afternoon (all local times).
Upon arrival in Kolkata, passengers will receive a garland of flowers and a cake cutting ceremony will take place at the arrival gate.
Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways’ General Manager – India, Craig Thomas, Etihad Airways’ Regional General Manager Asia Pacific North and Indian Subcontinent (ISC) and Dr. B P Sharma, Airport Director of Airports Authority of India, will also host a special ribbon cutting at the gate.
Later on in the evening a traditional lamp lighting ceremony, to bring good luck, will take place at a reception for Kolkata travel industry representatives in the city.
The return flight EY255 will depart Kolkata at 18:20 this evening and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 22:30.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We’re delighted to add Kolkata, an economic powerhouse and Etihad Airways’ first destination in North Eastern India, to our flight network.
Kolkata is the main commercial and financial hub of East and North-East India with a metropolitan population of approximately 14.1 million people. The city is home to the Kolkata Stock Exchange and has recently experienced a major economic rejuvenation driven by the expanding IT sector.
Dr. B P Sharma, Airport Director of Airports Authority of India, said: “We are pleased to welcome Etihad Airways’ world-class service to our city. This will boost the aviation sector and strengthen Kolkata’s cultural and business connections.
Etihad Airways operates a two cabin A320 aircraft between Abu Dhabi and Kolkata which is configured to carry 136 passengers, with 16 in Business Class and 120 in Economy Class.
The service to and from Kolkata conveniently connects with a number of Etihad Airways’ key North American destinations, including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Toronto, often providing the fastest journey times in the market.
Passengers flying on all Etihad Airways flights from India to the United States are processed through the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi Airport, which means they pass through all US immigration and customs checks in Abu Dhabi and arrive in the US as domestic passengers.