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Emirates and Etihad announce expansion of interline agreement

Emirates and Etihad, two of UAE’s biggest carriers, have announced an expansion of the interline agreement.

Interline partnership

Emirates and Etihad have announced an expansion of their existing interline partnership to “provide travellers additional itinerary options when visiting the UAE”. The airlines say that they aim to “capitalise on opportunities to boost tourism to the UAE from key source markets by enabling visitors to experience more than one destination in a single itinerary”.

As of this summer, passengers of each airline will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return via the other airport. The new agreement also provides travellers planning to explore the UAE with the flexibility of one-stop ticketing for their full journey and convenient baggage check-in.

In the initial stages of the expanded interline, each carrier will focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China. The ‘open jaw’ arrangement will allow visitors to cover as much ground as possible when exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate, saving time by removing the need to fly home via their arrival airport. Passengers travelling into the UAE also have the option of ‘multi-city flights’, with the choice to travel from one city on both carriers’ networks, and conveniently returning to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad.

We are pleased to be working again with Etihad Airways – this time to allow each carrier to offer a new range of seamless travel options in and out of the UAE. Emirates and Etihad are leveraging on our strengths to expand our respective customer offerings and boost UAE tourism. We believe this new agreement provides a strong foundation to develop further opportunities between both airlines and is an example of our commitment to the UAE’s vision for continued economic diversification.

said Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates.

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The MoU was signed at Arabian Travel Market 2023.

We’re delighted to partner with Emirates in our shared mission to support inbound tourism to the UAE and facilitate travel to our vibrant cities. With two world-class airlines supporting UAE tourism, our interline agreement will make it more convenient for our guests to experience the best of Abu Dhabi and Dubai on one single ticket while promising to deliver an exceptional flying experience whether they fly with Etihad Airways or Emirates. It’s a win-win proposition for travellers to the UAE.

said Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways.

This is the second time the airlines have announced a collaboration. In 2018, Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen aviation security, including the sharing of information and intelligence in operational areas both within and outside the UAE. Last year, Emirates signed an MoU with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, to boost tourist numbers to the UAE capital from key source markets across the airline’s network.

Boosting tourism

Tourism is one of the largest factors contributing to the GDP of United Arab Emirates (expected to contribute to 5.4% of the nation’s total GDP by 2027 according to the Emirates Tourism Council). The expansion of the interline agreement between the two airlines is a step in that direction.

This will certainly provide a nice incentive to travellers wanting to visit both – Dubai and Abu Dhabi – together.

Featured image by Emirates and Etihad

What do you think of Emirates and Etihad expanding their interline partnership? Let me know in the comments section below.

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