Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and Etihad Airways have signed a new codeshare partnership providing customers with access to more than 40 leisure and business destinations in home markets and across the world.
The two carriers have also announced plans for greater commercial cooperation in other fields, including frequent flyer programme benefits, cargo, and engineering and maintenance.
Saudi Arabia Airlines director general, Saleh bin Naser 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 new 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.”
The codeshare agreement will see Etihad Airways place its ‘EY’ code on Saudia’s flights to, Abha, Al-Baha, Alula, Arar, Bisha, Dammam, Dawadmi, Gassim, Gizan, Gurayat, Hail, Hofuf, Jeddah, Jouf, Madinah, Qaisumah, Rafha, Riyadh, Sharurah, Tabuk, Taif, Turaif, Wadi-Ad-Dawasir, Wedjh, Yanbo, and Abu Dhabi. Port Sudan, Tunis, Alexandria, Sharm el-Sheikh, Multan and Peshawar are subject to Government approval.
At the same time, Saudia will place its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights to Baku, Chengdu, Ahmedabad, Nagoya, Tokyo-Narita, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Belgrade, Seychelles, Chicago-O’Hare, and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Aviation Group chief executive officer, Tony Douglas added: “The ties shared between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates 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.”
In addition to the codeshare, the teams at Alfursan and the Etihad Guest frequent flyer programmes are finalising discussions which would see members of each programme being offered reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ opportunities.