Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is the first airline that introduced Airbus A380 service to India with the launch of Abu Dhabi – Mumbai flights. Mumbai becomes the airline’s fourth A380 destination following London Heathrow, Sydney and New York, with Melbourne set to join on June 1.

Etihad Airways senior management team led by Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President Commercial UAE, flew on the inaugural flight, arriving to a traditional lamp lighting ceremony attended by officials from the airline and Mumbai airport operator, GVK.

Due to the current water crisis currently gripping the State of Maharashtra, Etihad Airways decided not to proceed with a customary water salute that typically marks the arrival of an airline’s first flight to an airport.

With the aircraft upgrade, Etihad Airways is able to offer an all-A380 daily service in both directions between Mumbai and New York JFK International with a seamless connection over Abu Dhabi, along with the unique USA customs border protection which enables guests to pre-clear US customs in Abu Dhabi. The service is operated as a codeshare flight with Etihad Airways’ strategic Indian partner Jet Airways.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Etihad Airways is a young, innovative airline, yet a long-time supporter of the buoyant Indian aviation industry, operating to this diverse country since 2004 when Mumbai became the launch pad of our operations here.

“Bringing our flagship product to India with additional seat capacity demonstrates our overwhelming undertaking to one of the world’s fastest growing economies, helping fulfil growing demand and meeting travellers’ expectations for superior products and services. Key feeder markets to and from Europe, North America and the Middle East will also benefit greatly from the upgraded service.

“Our commitment to India is unequivocal, having built a robust and successful route network with our own dedicated services and those of our partner Jet Airways which, combined, give us 20 per cent market share, making us the largest contributors of passenger traffic to and from India, bigger than any other international airline.”

The two carriers currently operate 254 flights a week from 15 destinations in India to Abu Dhabi and beyond to a wide network of cities across all Continents. Both carriers codeshare on each other’s services to and from India.

Neerja Bhatia, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, added: “We are delighted to showcase our innovative The Residence featuring a living room, shower and bedroom, and our revolutionary First Apartments and Business Studios on the new daily A380 Mumbai flights that give our guests the very best onboard experiences with unmatched luxury and comfort.

“Maharashtra is one of the largest states in India, and its capital Mumbai is a cosmopolitan, dynamic and popular city. Mumbai to New York represents the largest premium travel market out of India, and with the busy holiday season upon us, it is the perfect time to bring our newest product to Mumbai. We look forward to welcoming travellers from Mumbai and surrounding cities as we believe the A380 will appeal to a much wider customer base keen to experience the aircraft and its services to Abu Dhabi and onward connecting points.”

Rajeev Jain, Chief Executive Officer of Mumbai International Airport Ltd, said: “We at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are delighted to welcome Etihad Airways’ A380 to Mumbai.

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Flights to and from Mumbai can be booked at www.etihad.com, via Etihad Airways Contact Centres or travel agents. Etihad Airways’ one-way fares, including taxes and surcharges, in The Residence in either direction between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai are approximately US$ 5,000; between London and Mumbai, approximately, US$ 26,000; and between New York and Mumbai approximately US$ 38,000.

Etihad Airways’ daily schedule between Abu Dhabi & Mumbai with the A380 flights highlighted: (all times are local)

Flight no. Origin Destination Departs Arrives Aircraft Frequency
EY212 Abu Dhabi Mumbai 03.15 08.25 A321 Daily
EY213 Mumbai Abu Dhabi 10.20 12.10 A321 Daily
EY204 Abu Dhabi Mumbai 14.10 19.20 A380 Daily
EY203 Mumbai Abu Dhabi 21.35 23.25 A380 Daily
EY206 Abu Dhabi Mumbai 21.40 02.50 B777 Daily
EY205 Mumbai Abu Dhabi 04.20 06.10 B777 Daily