Emirates Airlines (EK) and Etihad Airways (EY) have recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their existing interline agreement, allowing travelers to enjoy more itinerary options when visiting the UAE.
This agreement, which is the first of its kind between the two UAE-based carriers, seeks to leverage the opportunities available to increase tourism in the UAE from key source markets, allowing visitors to explore more than one destination within a single itinerary.
Emirates Interline with Etihad Airways
During the initial stages of the expanded interline, Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways will prioritize attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China.
The ‘open jaw’ arrangement will enable visitors to cover as much ground as possible while exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or any other emirate, eliminating the need to fly home via their arrival airport and saving time.
Customers traveling to the UAE can also opt for ‘multi-city flights,’ with the flexibility to travel from one city on both carriers’ networks and conveniently return to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the Arabian Travel Market by Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer, and Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer of Etihad Airways, in the presence of Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad CEO, as well as other senior representatives.
Emirates and Etihad Executive Insights
Emirates Airline’s President, Sir Tim Clark, expressed his satisfaction with the partnership between Emirates and Etihad Airways. He stated that the two airlines would collaborate to provide travelers with more options for seamless travel in and out of the UAE while boosting tourism.
By leveraging their strengths, this agreement is expected to facilitate additional opportunities for both carriers and support the UAE’s objective of sustained economic diversification.
Regarding the partnership between Emirates and Etihad Airways, Antonoaldo Neves, the CEO of Etihad Airways, stated that they are pleased to join Emirates in their common goal to promote inbound tourism to the UAE and simplify travel to their dynamic cities.
He added that with the collaboration of two top-notch airlines, this interline agreement will offer more convenience to travelers, who can now explore the best of Abu Dhabi and Dubai using a single ticket while enjoying a premium flying experience with either Emirates or Etihad Airways. Neves concluded that this collaboration is a win-win situation for tourists visiting the UAE.
The extended interline partnership demonstrates the commitment of both Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways to support the UAE government’s goal of promoting tourism and positioning the UAE as a preferred global destination.
Tourism is a critical pillar of the UAE economy, projected to contribute 5.4% of the nation’s total GDP, or AED 116.1 billion (USD 31.6 billion), while also creating over one million jobs by 2027*.
This is not the first time the two airlines have collaborated. In 2018, Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen aviation security, including sharing information and intelligence in operational areas within and outside the UAE.
Emirates also signed an MoU with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi last year to increase tourist numbers to the UAE capital from key source markets across the airline’s global network.
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