The United Arab Emirates to India market is enormous. This summer (S23), there are more than seven million seats for sale each way, the highest of any summer on record. It is the world’s seventh-largest international country pair and the first involving Asia. While a good amount of this capacity is filled by passengers transiting to other destinations, the point-to-point (P2P) market is itself significant. The UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, plays an important role.
Abu Dhabi to India
Abu Dhabi is one of five UAE airports with India flights this summer, based on OAG data. With more than 1.72 million seats for each (each way), it is inevitably behind only Dubai for seats to the vast South Asia nation.
Abu Dhabi is also the fastest-growing UAE airport to India in relation to pre-pandemic 2019. Capacity is up by +24%, with 325,000 departing seats added, helping to capture nearly a quarter of the country-level market.
The entry of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi in 2021 is the primary reason for this growth, along with the entry of Vistara in 2022 and IndiGo’s considerable expansion. The September launch of IndiGo from Goa helped, as did its new flights from Ahmedabad in August. They build on Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’s Kolkata route, which started in March.
Down by 1% versus record
As the figure shows, S23 is not a record. That was held in S16 when Jet Airways – a strategic partner of Etihad – existed and was the second-largest operator between India and Abu Dhabi. Still, capacity is only 1% lower than the peak when only four carriers operated non-stop.
Six carriers to India
The following table summarizes their Abu Dhabi-India operations. It excludes Go First, which previously operated to the UAE capital. Obviously, Etihad is the largest operator by capacity. It has more than one in two seats for sale (51%). Based on June 2023 booking data, approximately 80% of its India passengers transited Abu Dhabi.
Source : Simple Flying