Etihad Airways is poised to strengthen its ties with Saudia after the two flag carriers agreed to a new partnership. The deal, announced on October 22, includes a codeshare agreement covering 41 destinations across the airlines’ networks, while they will also co-operate in areas such as frequent flyer programme benefits, cargo, and engineering.
Saudia’s director general Nasser Al Jasser said: “The new partnership broadens aviation and transport links with the United Arab Emirates, building on the extensive aviation investment and strong foundation in the sector.
“With the agreement, the added network coverage enables our guests to benefit from added flexibility and convenience, as well as increase the benefits for members of both airlines’ frequent flyer plans.”
Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas added: “The ties shared between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the deepest that the two nations have, and therefore we are extremely proud to play our role and bring the two flag carriers together in this unique partnership.
“The partnership will allow for enhanced seamless travel across the Etihad Airways and Saudia networks which we anticipate will be highly popular with business and leisure travellers, especially those looking to fly to secondary city destinations.”
Work is now ongoing to drive the respective Etihad Guest and Alfursan frequent flyer programmes closer together, including the introduction of reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ opportunities. Etihad Airways Engineering is also expected to start providing selected maintenance services for Saudia at its Abu Dhabi facility. (Photo Etihad Airways)