Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways has signed a new codeshare partnership with EgyptAir, the airlines announced on Wednesday.
The partnership will be introduced in phases from March 1, a statement said.
Under the initial phase of the agreement, Etihad will place its ‘EY’ code on EgyptAir-operated flights between Abu Dhabi and Cairo, while EgyptAir will place its ‘MS’ code on Etihad flights between the two capital cities.
In the second phase, Etihad will expand the deal to major cities across Africa on EgyptAir flights while the Egyptian carrier will gain access to Etihad destinations in Australia and the Far East. The third phase will see the EY code placed on domestic flights across Egypt, the statement added.
In the future, the deal is expected to expand to additional destinations on both airlines’ networks.
Members of Etihad Airways’ and EgyptAir’s loyalty programmes will also earn miles on the codeshare flights at a “later stage”, the statement said without specifying details.
Etihad currently operates 28 flights each week between Abu Dhabi and Cairo, while EgyptAir serves the route 21 times a week.
More than 390,000 passengers travelled on the Abu Dhabi – Cairo route in 2016 and over two million travellers have flown between the two countries since 2007, the statement said.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways CEO, said: “This new codeshare agreement reinforces Etihad Airways’ commitment to a partnership strategy with airlines around the world.
“Our newest partner will also help further promote tourism, cultural and business opportunities between the UAE and Africa.”
Etihad has expanded its partnerships across the world and in December signed three codeshare deals with German airline Lufthansa, Tanzania’s Precision Air and Montenegro Airlines.
It also revealed plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG.
Etihad currently has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.