Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), and Etihad Airways have signed a new codeshare partnership that will cover over 40 leisure and business destinations across both carrier’s respective networks.
Signed at Saudia’s headquarters in Jeddah, the continued collaboration between the airlines will also extend beyond the codeshare agreement, exploring commercial opportunities in other fields. This includes exploring prospects in frequent flyer programme benefits, cargo, and engineering and maintenance services.
The partnership agreement was signed by HE Eng. Saleh bin Naser Al Jasser, Director General Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Tony Douglas, Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group. Also in attendance was Jaan Albercht, Chief Executive Officer of Saudia; Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Senior Vice President Government & International Affairs, Etihad Aviation Group; and Ali Saleh, Vice President Alliances & Partnerships, Etihad Aviation Group.
Commenting on the agreement, HE Al Jasser said: “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.
“With the 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.”
As per the agreement, Etihad Airways and Saudia will use its EY and SV code, respectively, on codeshare flights to the destinations covered under the new deal.
The teams under the Etihad Guest and Alfursan frequent flyer programmes will work closely today to devise new opportunities for passengers. Additionally, the cargo divisions of both carriers will look for novel ways to maximise freight traffic volume, in and out of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Finally, it was also revealed that Etihad Airways Engineering, the Etihad Group’s MRO service arm, will deliver select maintenance services for Saudia at its facility in Abu Dhabi.
Sharing his own viewpoint on the landmark agreement, Etihad’s Douglas shared: “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.”