Air Arabia Abu Dhabi Expands India Network

Credit: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is further expanding its Indian network later this month with the introduction of flights to Chennai, followed by the launch of a route to Jaipur in May.

Chennai (MAA), located on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India, will become the fifth destination in the South Asia country to be served by the LCC. Nonstop flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) will begin on April 27, operating twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays using Airbus A320 aircraft.

A second new route to India will start on May 5, connecting Abu Dhabi and Jaipur (JAI), a popular tourist destination and the capital of the Rajasthan state. The route will also operate twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays using A320s.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi began commercial operations in July 2020 and opened its first Indian routes in November 2021, linking Abu Dhabi with Cochin (COK), Delhi (DEL), Kozhikode (CCJ) and Thiruvananthapuram (TRV). The flights to Chennai and Jaipur will become the 18th and 19th routes in its network.

Chennai is home to a population of more than 8 million and is considered the most prominent cultural, economic and educational centers in southern India. Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’s outbound service to the city will depart AUH at 2 p.m., arriving at 7.45 p.m. local time. The return flight leaves at 8.25 p.m. and arrives back in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 11 p.m.

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Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Etihad currently serves AUH-MAA daily using Boeing 787-9s. Air India, Emirates, flydubai and IndiGo also provide indirect competition between Dubai International (DXB) and MAA, while Air Arabia and Air India Express each serve Sharjah (SHJ)-MAA.

Jaipur has a population of about 4 million and is known as the Pink City due to the dominant color scheme of its buildings. The city forms part of the west “Golden Triangle” tourist circuit along with Delhi and Agra.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’s flights to Jaipur will depart AHU at 12.05 a.m., arriving at 4.55 a.m. The return service leaves at 5.40 a.m. and returns to AUH at 7.40 a.m. The LCC will face no direct competition, but Air India Express and SpiceJet operate DXB-JAI and Air Arabia serves SHJ-JAI.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.