In an effort to foster closer ties and increase collaboration, Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Etihad Airways.
As per the agreement, which was inked during the Bahrain International Airshow, the two parties will work closely with each other to develop joint codeshare operations, optimise pilot training facilities, as well as increasing coordination their engineering and cargo services.
In the case of the latter, both carriers’ engineering and cargo divisions will engage in talks aimed at improving MRO operations, while at the same time, increasing volumes of freight traffic to and from Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Commenting on the MoU, Krešimir Kučko, CEO of Gulf Air, said: “The relationship between Bahrain and UAE is strong in many fields including aviation and today with the signing of this MOU we enrich the relationship by cooperating with Etihad Airways. This is an example of how two airlines can work hand in hand for greater mutual benefits. We are happy to work with our friends and colleagues in Etihad and support each other to achieve bigger goals.”
An additional provision under the MoU will be focused on the development of novel commercial agreements aimed at enhancing guest experiences. To this end, the teams at Etihad Guest and Gulf Air Falconflyer loyalty programmes will work closely together to introduce reciprocal earn and burn opportunities that will benefit members of either programme.
Tony Douglas, Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The deep ties between Abu Dhabi and Manama are well-known in the aviation world and date back nearly 70 years. Therefore the natural way to build upon those ties is to examine ways in which the two flag carriers — Etihad and Gulf Air — can work more closely together to improve business operations and enhance the experience for our guests.
“We look forward to the Etihad and Gulf Air teams coming together during the next few months to look at how we can put that in place, whether it is in codeshare, engineering, cargo, or through our frequent flyer programmes.”
To date, Etihad Airways operates three return daily A320 flights between Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, while Gulf Air oversees four return daily flights on the same route.