Etihad inducting 6 A321neos to expand operations into the Indian subcontinent

Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi based ME3 carrier has started the process of induction of A321neo aircraft to be able to expand its short-haul capabilities. For those who don’t know, Etihad Airways already has a fleet of 9 196 seater A321-200 aircraft, which it operates around the Indian subcontinent and other short-haul destinations in the Etihad network (such as Tel Aviv).

Etihad to bring in six A321neo aircraft into the fleet from Bamboo Airways

Etihad had 26 Airbus A321neo aircraft on order of its own which were expected to go to its joint venture, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi as of 2022 (per Tony Douglas). However, Tony moved on, and these orders, placed in 2013, continue to be deferred as Etihad decides the future of its own operations. Airbus Orders & Deliveries currently shows 20 A321neo aircraft on order, so it is unclear as to what happened to 6 of the earlier orders.

However, for now, Etihad is going to acquire six used A321neos, all of which served Bamboo Airways, and induct them into its fleet. Bamboo Airways found no use for these aircraft as it restructured its operations, and they were handed over to the lessor, Aviation Capital Group, and these were stored in 2023. Etihad is taking over all the six A321neos and will bring them into its fleet within the year 2024. Out of the six, three are expected to join the fleet by June 2024, and the rest by October 2024.

The first of these aircraft arrived in Abu Dhabi earlier in May 2024, and it looks gorgeous. It was registered in Cyprus, then sent to France for a visit to the paint shop and then flown over to Abu Dhabi.

a plane on a runway

Etihad is expected to fly the aircraft to various short haul destinations, such as to Doha, Ammam, Bahrain, Bangalore, Cairo, Delhi, Mumbai and Muscat. Abu Dhabi to Bengaluru will see EY238/239 switch to the A321neo as of June 7, 2024.  Effective June 10, 2024, Abu Dhabi to Delhi (EY212/213) will be operated with the A321neo some days of the week.

Effective June 15, 2024, the frequencies on Abu Dhabi to Bengaluru and v.v. will increase from 14X to 17X weekly. The 3X weekly addition flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be operated with an A321neo. The timings are as follows:

EY236 AUH 03:10-08:50 BLR
EY237 BLR 10:00-12:35 AUH


Etihad Airways will begin inducting six A321neos, previously being flown by Bamboo Airways. The first of these has arrived in Abu Dhabi in Etihad livery, and the induction of all six of these aircraft will be completed within the year. Etihad will start sending these aircraft to India early June 2024 onwards, and you can see them visit Bengaluru and Delhi, amongst other destinations.

What do you think of Etihad’s Airbus A321neo induction?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Etihad may look at CJB as a potential future destination in South India. Several thousands expats working in the gulf countries originate from this Kongu region industrial city .Coimbatore

  2. The reason why the A321 NEO’s went to Etihad instead of Air Arabia is simply because of the poor management that Air Arabia is doing with the airline. The CEO of Air Arabia is very slow and not progressive.

    They had the ability to expand to so many markets but they instead took it very slow and stole from their own employees.

    Basically you snooze you lose !

    Etihad deserves to take this as they can do a better job while the management at Air Arabia is too busy with proving who is better internally.

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