Etihad Airways has announced two new codesharing agreements this week with Air France and South African Airways which will see its ‘EY’ flight number prefix appear across a whole range of new destinations and services.
Air France – with whom Etihad announced a strategic partnership with last October – will enter the codeshare on a range of regional routes, expanding on the current codesharing agreement. The two national carriers will forge closer ties on several routes, with Etihad adding its EY code on flights between Paris Charles de Gaul, Marseilles and Lisbon. Air France will be placing its AF code on a selection of flights from Etihad’s home-base in Abu Dhabi to Khartoum (the capital of Sudan), Sydney and Melbourne. It hopes to add services from Singapore to Brisbane and those from Abu Dhabi and Kathmandu to that list as well, pending further regulatory approval.
The deal between Etihad and Air France will be in addition to the current codesharing agreements that the two airlines have previously commenced. Currently, Air France have their code on Etihad’s twice-daily flights from Charles de Gaul to Abu Dhabi, as well as those continuing on to Colombo (Sri Lanka), Mahé (Seychelles) and Male (Maldives).
In a second, larger partnership, Etihad has signed a memorandum of understanding with South African Airways, which will allow the two airlines to introduce a wide range of codeshares and air services.
Under the agreement, Etihad will place its EY code on flights from Johannesburg to ten destinations across South Africa, Africa, and South America. South African Airways will, in return, have their SA code on 12 Etihad routes across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including their daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg.
The two airlines carried over 20 million passengers in 2013, and hope this codeshare will allow this number to increase as well as benefiting both airlines with certain economies of scale.
The deals with South African Airways and Air France are being seen as key collaborations. Etihad have also recently started similar deals with Air Seychelles, Jet Airways and Kenya Airways; this brings the number of codesharing agreements that Etihad’s has up to 42.