United Arab Emirates-based airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways have updated their mutual inter-group agreement during the Arabian Travel Market event in Dubai on Thursday.
At the event, representatives from both airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as they both agreed to mutually increase choices for passengers especially when it comes to international travel flights.
The updated agreement between both air travel service providers seeks to give tourism in the UAE a considerable boost.
Passengers of either airline will now be able to purchase a single ticket to Dubai (DXB) and return via Abu Dhabi (AUH) and vice versa, going by the updated agreement.
Passengers will also be able to choose ‘multi-city flights’ which will allow travel to the UAE from a destination served by Emirates and then to another destination operated by Etihad. Also, no extra fees will be charged to passengers who fly into the UAE with Emirates and fly out with Etihad, or vice versa.
This new agreement is projected to greatly benefit UAE Tourism, as tourists will not only have better flexibility over their flight times and trips, but they will also now have more time to explore the UAE’s different cities.
Dubai, the home of Emirates, and Abu Dhabi, the home of Etihad, are just 130 kilometers (81 miles) apart, all the more easing the travel experience for travelers.
“We are pleased to be working with Etihad Airways – this time to allow each carrier to offer a new range of seamless travel options in and out of the UAE,” said Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates.
“Emirates and Etihad are leveraging on our strengths to expand our respective customer offerings and boost UAE tourism.
“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.”
Anotonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Emirates in our shared mission to support inbound tourism to the UAE and facilitate travel to our vibrant cities.
“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 travelers to the UAE.”
Emirates and Etihad, while being traditionally rival airlines, have a history of collaboration: In 2018, both airlines signed an MoU allowing the sharing of vital intelligence information about the areas and markets they both operate in, in order to improve security in the aviation sector.
This latest expansion of their mutual inter-group agreement is solely aimed at boosting tourism in the UAE, a sector that is expected to provide more than 1 million jobs to the country’s economy and contribute 5.4% to the country’s total GDP by 2027.
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