LONDON – Arab carrier Saudia and Etihad Airways have announced new codesharing arrangement that will cover extensive areas of each carrier’s networks.
The deal will provide customers with codesharing cover to 41 different destinations across the two carriers’ portfolios.
On top of this arrangement, the airlines have signed deals regarding commercial cooperation in other fields, such as frequent flyer programs, cargo, engineering, and maintenance.
His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Naser Al-Jasser, Director General Saudi Arabian Airlines commented on the connectivity on offer between Jeddah and Abu Dhabi alike.
“The new partnership broadens aviation and transport links with the United Arab Emirates, building on the extensive aviation investment and a strong foundation in the sector,” he said.
“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.”
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, of Etihad Aviation Group highlighted the diplomatic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia and how that plays well into the aviation field.
“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.”
The arrangement will see the “EY” code on the following Saudia flights: 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.
Also, Port Sudan, Tunis, Alexandria, Sharm el-Sheikh, Multan, Peshawar are all subject to government approval.
Meanwhile, the “SV” code will appear on the following flights that Etihad operates: Baku, Chengdu, Ahmedabad, Nagoya, Tokyo-Narita, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Belgrade, Seychelles, Chicago-O’Hare, and Abu Dhabi.
For Etihad, the carrier benefits with extended access into Saudi Arabia’s domestic market. Meanwhile, Saudia will benefit from the more international options that Etihad has on offer.
The domestic and local links for Etihad are really important, considering the significant cutbacks made by the carrier in recent years due to restructuring efforts.
It seems that either way, both parties are benefitting through the different strategic approaches that each carrier is taking out.
If an extension is approved in the coming years, then it will show how much of a beneficial partnership it is for both sides.