Etihad Holidays, the tour operating arm of the UAE’s national airline Etihad Airways, has launched in India, offering travellers a wide range of holiday packages to destinations worldwide.
Etihad Holidays has teamed up with leading Indian travel company TUI to distribute its products to over 900 registered travel agents across India. From family, beach and luxury holidays to sporting breaks, fly drives, city stays, stopovers and Hajj and Umrah packages, Etihad Holidays has numerous travel options that include flights, accommodation and tour choices with stopovers in Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub.
Agents have the opportunity to earn valuable commissions by selling Etihad Holidays’ products. Commission levels range between five and 10 per cent on packages booked, dependent on class of travel. The packages are bookable through the VAX trade e-platform or through a local sales support team over the phone.
Destinations across North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Gulf and Asia are featured in the packages. Popular markets from India include Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, the GCC, United States, Canada, European cities, as well as South Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Among the most attractive packages is the Abu Dhabi Stopover Programme allowing guests to break their journey in the UAE capital and take advantage of the special two-for-the price-of-one night accommodation offers. This ensures guests are able to enjoy a short leisurely break en route to their final destination.
Etihad Airways’ excellence in service, hospitality and innovation have earned it global recognition as an airline of choice. Travelling through Abu Dhabi International Airport, guests with connections to Etihad Airways’ six gateway cities in America have the additional benefit of pre-clearing US Immigration and Customs checks, ensuring they reach the US as domestic passengers and avoid lengthy airport formalities upon arrival.
Indian cities currently served are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. Next year, three further cities – Chandigarh, Kannur and Tiruchirappalli – will be added, taking the total frequency between India and Abu Dhabi to 280 flights a week.
Darren Peisley, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Holidays’ parent Hala Group, said: “With the launch of Etihad Holidays in India, we are providing great content to travel agents to sell to the huge outbound travel market from India offering a wide choice of budget and luxury holiday options. Through real-time online booking and confirmation capability, Etihad Holidays is offering customers the flexibility to browse and book package holidays directly online.
“We are delighted to be working with TUI as our partner in India to operate Etihad Holidays in the Indian market because of their extensive knowledge of the tour operating business locally.” Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways Vice President Indian Subcontinent, added: “The strong presence of Etihad Airways and Jet Airways in one of the most dynamic markets in the world makes it a natural and compelling proposition for Etihad Holidays to launch in India. We have many exciting plans in India during the months ahead offering our guests more choice, greater travel options and increased flexibility to help them plan their flights and holidays.”
India's outbound travel market remains robust, with the number of trips forecast to increase between 6.5 per cent and 9 per cent a year. Outbound trips from India are expected to rise to 17.2 million in 2019, compared with 13.1 million last year.