Etihad has joined with European giant EasyJet in a distribution partnership which will allow customers to buy tickets on EasyJet’s website, opening up new travel opportunities between Europe and the UAE.
The partnership with EasyJet is the UAE national airline’s first use of the NDC (New Distribution Capability) platform and Etihad plans to add more airlines and travel partners to its NDC portfolio in 2020.
The deal follows EasyJet’s rollout with flight comparison search engine, Dohop, which connects its European network with long-haul flights.
For Etihad, this has been achieved using the NDC platform providing technical capability for new partnerships previously not possible.
Ali Saleh, Etihad Airways VP alliances and partnerships, said: “This new collaboration between two great brands is a logical leap forward for both our companies.
“EasyJet is a perfect launch partner for us in Europe, allowing us to reliably increase the breadth of our continental reach to and from Abu Dhabi, as we enhance ways of connecting directly with more airlines and travel partners around the world.
“The ability to provide end-to-end booking capabilities through our NDC platform will provide customers with ‘one stop’ solutions for seamless travel with partners, whether legacy or low-cost, through Etihad’s global gateways.”
Rachel Smith, EasyJet’s head of commercial partnerships, said: "We're excited to announce our partnership with Etihad Airways, which opens up Abu Dhabi as a destination to our passengers and more of Europe to Etihad.
“Through smart self-connections and strategic partnerships, we continue to extend the reach of the worldwide by EasyJet network offering more value and more routes to more customers."
Customers will be able to purchase tickets on the EasyJet website from 68 cities on the airline’s network in Europe to Abu Dhabi, connecting on to Etihad Airways flights from 10 European gateways in Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome, Geneva, Madrid, Manchester, Milan Malpensa, and Zurich.
Both airlines plan to expand the partnership to include more destinations in the future.