Emirates and Etihad announce interline expansion


Fly into Dubai or Abu Dhabi and return via the other airport using both airlines on one ticket, writes Shauna McCrudden

Dubai, UAE. Photo by Zaib Azhar

Emirates and Etihad Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their interline agreement and provide travellers with additional itinerary options when visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

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.  

This summer, customers of each airline will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return via the other airport. The new 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.

In the initial stages of the expanded interline, each carrier will focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China. The ‘open jaw’ arrangement will allow visitors to cover as much ground as possible when exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate, saving time by removing the need to fly home via their arrival airport. 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 returning to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad.

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The MoU was signed at Arabian Travel Market by Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer, and Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Airways, in the presence of Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline; Etihad Chairman, His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa (TBC), and Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad CEO, along with other senior representatives.

Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said, “We are pleased to be working again with Etihad Airways – this time, to allow each carrier to offer a new range of seamless travel options in and out of the UAE. 

“We believe 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.”

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Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “With two world-class airlines supporting UAE tourism, our interline agreement will make it more convenient for our guests to experience the best of Abu Dhabi and Dubai on one single ticket, while promising to deliver an exceptional flying experience whether they fly with Etihad Airways or Emirates. It’s a win-win proposition for travellers to the UAE.”

This is the second time the airlines have announced a collaboration. In 2018, Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) signed a MoU to strengthen aviation security, including the sharing of information and intelligence in operational areas both within and outside the UAE. Last year, Emirates signed an MoU with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, to boost tourist numbers to the UAE capital from key source markets across the airline’s global network.

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Tickets can be booked on emirates.com and etihad.com, with Online Travel Agencies, as well as travel agents




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