Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 January 2020

Etihad Airways and Saudia expand codeshare routes

Airlines are expanding their commercial partnership by adding 11 new routes to destinations in Asia and Europe
The partnership expansion comes after Etihad said it was open to forge new codeshare agreements worldwide. Bloomberg

Etihad Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) are expanding their commercial partnership, building on an agreement for closer ties announced a year ago.

The airlines are introducing 11 new codeshare routes to key destinations in Asia and Europe, according to a statement on Tuesday.

"The United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enjoy strong economic, diplomatic and cultural links, and the partnership between our two national carriers is a natural and productive extension of these ties," said Tony Douglas, chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group.

The partnership expansion comes after the Abu Dhabi airline said it was open to forge new codeshare agreements worldwide as it seeks sustainable growth and signed similar pacts with Gulf Air and Egypt Air. Mr Douglas said in March the airline is “on track” with its ongoing turnaround plan, but work remains to be done after the company narrowed annual losses by 16 per cent to $1.28 billion (Dh4.7bn).

Since announcing the Saudia partnership this time last year, the airlines have jointly achieved more than 53,500 passenger journeys, five times the 11,390 for the whole of 2018, Mr Douglas said, adding that the increased collaboration "will deliver even more growth to both airlines, provide greater choice for our passengers and freight customers, and further strengthen the ties between our nations".

Under the deal announced on Tuesday, and subject to regulatory approvals, Saudia will add its code to Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 more destinations in nine countries – Amsterdam, Baku, Brussels, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Phuket, Nagoya, Tokyo and Seoul – significantly extending Saudia’s reach.

“Network growth and increased access to destinations provides our guests with greater flexibility and convenience," Saudi Arabian Airlines director general Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said.

Since signing their agreement in October 2018, the two airlines have placed their flight codes on each other’s services between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi Arabian cities of Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh and Madinah. Saudia has also added its SV code to Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and 12 destinations – Ahmedabad, Belgrade, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Lagos, Melbourne, Moscow-Domodedovo, Rabat, Seychelles and Sydney. Meanwhile, Etihad has placed its EY code on Saudia flights to Peshawar, Multan, Port Sudan and Vienna.

Updated: October 22, 2019 08:13 PM