Etihad starts A380 service to Mumbai
Etihad Airways has added Mumbai to its network of cities served by Airbus A380 aircraft. Flight EY204 landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Monday night on occasion of Maharashtra Day, the 56th anniversary of the state’s formation. Mumbai is the airline’s fourth A380 destination. An Etihad Airways senior management team flew on the inaugural flight, arriving to a traditional lamp lighting ceremony (pictured) attended by officials from Mumbai airport operator GVK. Due to the current water shortage in Maharashtra, Etihad said it decided not to proceed with a customary water salute that typically marks the arrival of an airline’s first flight to an airport. Much of India is reeling under a weeks-long heat wave and severe drought that has resulted in at least 300 deaths. James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “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 A380 operates on one of the five-daily scheduled flights between Mumbai and Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways operates three flights and Jet Airways operates two.