Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, made a much-anticipated return to East India this week. On Sunday night the airlines first return flight, operated by an Airbus A320, touched down in Kolkata.
With a total of seven scheduled weekly nonstop services planned, the airline will once again connect India’s financial capital, Kolkata, with the world through Abu Dhabi.
The first flight on the new service, EY256, departed Abu Dhabi with a full load of passengers at 1:50pm local time on 26 March and touched down at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport at 8:10pm local time on Sunday night.
Upon arrival in Kolkata, passengers were welcomed with a cake cutting ceremony and a celebration attended by Etihad and Kolkata Airport Executives.
The return flight, EY257, then departed Kolkata at 9:05pm local time on 26 March, landing in Abu Dhabi shortly after midnight.
Eithad Airways statement
Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “Riding on the resurgence of outbound travel from India, we’re delighted to resume daily flights to Kolkata, a key cultural and commercial hub in the Indian subcontinent.”
“Re-establishing this vital air link with East India will support the growing demand from travelers in and around the region, offering them easy access to Abu Dhabi and connectivity to our global network alongside a world-class flying experience.”
“We have been very impressed with our initial demand, which reaffirms our strategy to return to this key market.”
The Dubai connection
The flights will be operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, offering Etihad’s award-winning service to guests in 8 seats in Business Class and 150 in Economy.
The scheduled flights also offer convenient flight timings to the UAE’s capital city and seamless connections to destinations across the airline’s growing global network of 67 destinations.
The reinvigorated direct service also offers a boost to tourism for travellers to the UAE. Dune bashing in the desert or relaxing on its pristine beaches, there is much to soak up with the rich UAE heritage and culture.
Travellers will also have the opportunity to explore attractions and theme parks such as Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and family-favourite Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital offers leisure travellers a rich variety of memorable experiences.
Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, is the capital city of the Indian state of West Bengal and is located in the eastern part of India. It is a vibrant and bustling city with a rich history and culture.
Kolkata was the center of British colonial India and was the capital of British India until 1911. The city has played a significant role in India’s struggle for independence, and it was the birthplace of several prominent Indian freedom fighters such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore.
Kolkata is known for its colonial-era architecture, cultural festivals, and delicious cuisine. The Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Howrah Bridge, and the Indian Museum are some of the popular tourist attractions in the city.
Kolkata is also famous for its street food, including the famous Kolkata-style biryani, rasgulla, kathi rolls, and phuchka. The city is also a hub of cultural activities, and several festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm, including Durga Puja, Christmas, and Diwali.
Onwards travel to the US
Etihad passengers flying from Kolkata to the United States also benefit from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility in Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The Kolkata service is the only US immigration preclearance service in the region that allows passengers to clear US immigration while they are still in Abu Dhabi, meaning travellers can get home quicker and easier.