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Emirates and Etihad announce interline expansion, offering better itinerary options to boost UAE tourismEmirates Airlines and Etihad Airways have announced an expansion of their interline agreement, offering travellers the opportunity to visit multiple destinations in the UAE in a single itinerary. The deal, the first of its kind between the two UAE carriers, aims to boost tourism to the country from key source markets. Customers of each airline can purchase a single ticket to fly into Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return via the other airport. The agreement also provides travellers with the flexibility of one-stop ticketing for their entire journey and convenient baggage check-in.

The expanded interline partnership, signed at the Arabian Travel Market, will initially focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China. The ‘open jaw’ arrangement will allow visitors to cover as much ground as possible when exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate. It saves time by removing the need to fly home via their arrival airport. Customers travelling into the UAE also have the option of ‘multi-city flights’, choosing to travel from one city on both carriers’ networks and conveniently returning to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airlines, said the agreement provided “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”. Meanwhile, Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad Airways, described the partnership as “a win-win proposition for travellers to the UAE”.

The expansion builds upon the commitment of both airlines to support the UAE government’s objective to promote tourism to the country and enhance its position as a preferred global destination. Tourism is one of the critical pillars of the UAE economy, with expectations it will contribute to 5.4% of the nation’s total GDP, or AED 116.1 billion (USD 31.6 billion), supporting over one million jobs by 2027.

This is not the first time Emirates and Etihad have collaborated. In 2018 the airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen aviation security, including sharing information and intelligence in operational areas both within and outside the UAE. Last year, Emirates signed an MoU with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to boost tourist numbers to the UAE capital from key source markets across the airline’s global network.

Travellers can book tickets on both Emirates’ and Etihad’s websites, as well as through Online Travel Agencies and travel agents.




Written by: Stephen Peters