Emirates and Etihad sign interline agreement for the first time

Emirates and Etihad Airways signed their first interline agreement, aiming to boost tourism to the UAE
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Emirates and Etihad Airways, two United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based airlines, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), expanding their interline agreement and providing travelers with additional travel options when visiting the Gulf state. 

The agreement is the first of its kind to be established between the two carriers. 

In its announcement Emirates, which is based in Dubai, said: “This first of its kind agreement between the two UAE carriers aims 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.” 

The MoU was signed at the Arabian Travel Market on May 4, 2023, by Adnan Kazim, the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Emirates and Mohammad Al Bulooki, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Etihad Airways. Tim Clark, the President of Emirates, and Antonoaldo Neves, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Etihad Airways also attended the ceremony. 

According to the Emirates press release passengers will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai International Airport (DXB) or Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), returning to their initial destinations via the other airport starting this summer. The announcement noted that the 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”. 

Initially, the two airlines will focus on inbound traffic to the UAE by “developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China,” with an “open jaw” arrangement enabling visitors to explore as much of UAE as possible throughout their time in the country, as travelers will not have to travel home from the airport they arrived at. 

“Customers 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,” the Emirates press release continued.  

Meanwhile, Clark added that it was a pleasure to work with Etihad Airways once again, with the two airlines allowing each other “to offer a new range of seamless travel options in and out of the UAE”. The Emirates executive also added that the DXB-based airline believes “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.” 

“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,” Neves said, explaining that with the support of two-world-class airlines, tourists wanting to visit the UAE will be granted a more convenient experience while exploring Abu Dhabi and Dubai on a single ticket. 

“It’s a win-win proposition for travellers to the UAE,” Neves concluded.  

In 2018, Emirates Group and Etihad Airways Group (EAD), the parent companies of the two airlines, signed an MoU to strengthen the security of the aviation industry by sharing information and intelligence in operational areas within and outside of the UAE. In 2022, Emirates signed an MoU with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, aiming to increase the number of tourists to the city from “key source markets across the airline’s global network”. 

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