• Joe Breitfeller

Etihad Airways and Gulf Air Announce Expansion of Strategic Commercial Cooperation

The carriers will expand their existing codeshare beyond Abu Dhabi and Bahrain and expand Frequent Flyer Benefits for Etihad Guest and Falconflyer members. Additionally, schedules will be optimized on the Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route, offering more seamless connectivity.


Etihad Airways Group's CEO Tony Douglas and Gulf Air's Acting CEO, Captain Waleed AlAlawi Virtually Sign New Strategic Commercial Cooperation Agreement - Courtesy Etihad Airways

On Wednesday (February 17, 2021), Etihad Airways announced the signing of a new strategic commercial cooperation agreement (SCCA) with Gulf Air. The agreement includes an expansion of the carriers existing codeshare agreement beyond their Abu Dhabi and Bahrain hubs as well as enhanced reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for Etihad Guest and Falconflyer members. Additionally, schedules will be optimized on the Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route, providing more connectivity for a seamless customer journey. The new wide-ranging SCCA is subject to regulatory approvals and builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the airlines in 2018.


In Wednesday’s announcement, Etihad Airways Group’s Chief Executive officer, Tony Douglas, said,


“This agreement reinforces the strength of the ongoing partnership between our two airlines. We look forward to exploring pragmatic ways in which the two carriers can increasingly work seamlessly between our two capitals, enhance benefits and customer experience for our most frequent travelers and further extend the reach of our joint networks beyond our hubs.”


Also commenting on the new SCCA, Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed AlAlawi, added,


“Our relationship with Etihad Airways has always been strong and today we are reaching a higher level of collaboration with many more opportunities in the horizon between the national carriers of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. This agreement will empower both of us to offer a more elevated experience to passengers and widen their travel options.”


The SCCA will be implemented in a phased approach, with the first phase expanding the scope of the partners’ codeshare agreement, first signed in 2019, to be completed by June 2021. The expanded codeshare will offer up to an additional 30 combined destinations beyond Abu Dhabi and Bahrain across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. The airlines will also work together to optimize the Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route to enhance connectivity at each respective hub. Benefits will also be enhanced for premium tier Etihad Guest and Falconflyer members with reciprocal lounge access and enhanced recognition throughout the journey on either airline. The original 2018 MoU also provides for the exploration of joint opportunities in the areas of MRO, pilot and crew training and cargo, which will now be revisited due to current market opportunities and company requirements.



Source: Etihad Airways