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Etihad Airways to tap US-bound flyers from India with pre-clearance at new terminal

For the next tourist season starting September, Etihad Airways will tap into the demand for travel between India and the USA.
The Zayed International Airport has the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility that offers pre-clearance to the US immigration and customs, housed at a the airport’s old terminal.

The Zayed Airport recently got a new terminal. “This September the CBP will move to the new terminal that will, among other things, have a dedicated first and business class lounge especially for pre-cleared (to US) passengers. Also we have deepened our partnership with two US carriers — American Airlines and Jet Blue. So our pre-cleared passengers will get seamless connections to a large number of cities in the shortest possible time starting at 45 minutes after flying into the US on our flights. The baggage will also be through checked-in to the final destination there with passengers not required to collect them in the first port of arrival in the US. Ditto on the way back,” Arik De, Chief revenue & Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways said in an interview to TOI.

“With all the checks out of the way before you take-off, you can simply pick up your bags and go when you land in the US. Abu Dhabi has only CBP facility in the Middle East,” he added.

Etihad currently flies to New York (JFK), Chicago, Boston and Washington. It plans to double its US presence before the end of this decade. With its pre-clearance USP, Etihad is eying the India market in a big way for filling up its flights to and from the US.

“Abu Dhabi has 50,000 seats per week to India of which along with Air Arabia Abu Dhabi about 42,000 seats are being used. We are increasing flights to Bengaluru (going from 14 to 18 weekly); Kolkata (going to 7 to 8 weekly) and starting four times weekly to Jaipur on June 16. The next round of expansion in India will be in January-March 2025 when we get more planes,” said De. (Source: TOI)

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