BusinessMiddle East

Etihad Airways and EL AL launch strategic cooperation

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and EL AL Israel Airlines, the national carrier of Israel, today launched their joint codeshare network and reciprocal loyalty agreement for frequent flyers. This builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the airlines signed in 2020 following the Abraham Accords signed by the UAE and Israel reported WAM.

Available for sale from today, for flights from 18 July 2021, EL AL will add its ‘LY’ code to Etihad’s existing twice weekly service between Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv. Beyond Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub, this new partnership will extend further and is planned to include destinations in Australia, Bahrain, India, Korea, Philippines and Seychelles from 1 August.

In the next phase of extending the codeshare agreement, subject to obtaining applicable governmental and regulatory approvals, Etihad will offer guests an additional 14 destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and US by adding its ‘EY’ code to EL AL flights.

These codeshare routes will provide guests greater choice, convenience and flexibility, and further strengthens the ties between the two nations.

In other areas of collaboration, the partners will also establish a reciprocal loyalty agreement. Members of the Etihad Guest and Matmid programmes will be able to earn and redeem miles on flights across both carriers’ networks.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We are very pleased to be able to announce the launch of our codeshare and frequent flyer partnership with El Al. This partnership will provide additional choice and connectivity for both carriers’ guests, and a range of benefits for frequent travelers between and beyond our respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.”

The 2020 MOU also provided for exploration of MRO, pilot and crew training, and cargo opportunities, which the parties are progressing.

Avigal Soreq, Chief Executive Officer, EL AL Israel Airlines, said: “This is the first commercial partnership that EL AL has established following the Abrahamic Accords. This is an important milestone as this codeshare will bring growing benefits to our passengers and to our respective airlines and countries. The EL AL and Etihad teams have a common goal in this partnership, and we look forward to seeing it grow in the future.”

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