DUBAI: Etihad Airways announced on Monday a new codeshare partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) as well as plans for stronger commercial cooperation between the two carriers.
The deal will see Etihad and Saudia cooperate in fields that include cargo, engineering and maintenance, and their frequent-flyer programme benefits, with Etihad Airways Engineering to provide certain maintenance services for Saudia aircraft at the former’s facility in Abu Dhabi.
Etihad said the partnership deal will allow for enhanced travel across the two airlines’ networks, with expectations for the codeshare to be “highly popular” with both business and leisure travellers.
The codeshare will include 40 destinations across the world. It will see Etihad place its ‘EY’ code on Saudia’s flights to various cities across the Kingdom, with others such as Port Sudan, Alexandria, Sharm Al Shaikh, Multan, Peshawar, and Tunis subject to government approval.
Saudia will also place its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights to destinations that include Chicago-O’Hare, Seychelles, Baku, Ahmedabad, Tokyo-Narita, and Belgrade, among others.
In a statement, Etihad said the airlines are finalising discussions to allow members of each carrier’s loyalty programme to earn from the other’s programme.
Teams from Etihad and Saudia are also in talks about stronger cooperation in cargo as they see potential from increased volumes of freighter traffic flowing into and out of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.