Etihad Airways signs deal with China Eastern Airlines

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a codeshare agreement with China Eastern Airlines.

The new agreement is the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s 37th codeshare. It follows the exchange of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai-based Chinese carrier in March this year.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, expressed appreciation to the government regulators for approving the new agreement.

“The codeshare with China Eastern Airlines is a win-win for both businesses and for travellers across our combined global networks.

“It expands our networks in a commercially viable and mutually beneficial way, and offers our customers more choice of destinations, schedules and loyalty benefits.” Liu Shaoyong, Chairman of China Eastern Airlines, said: “China Eastern is very pleased to cooperate with Etihad Airways and values the partnership. Signing the codeshare agreement has great significance for increased cooperation in a range of areas which will be for the benefit of our shared customers.” Initially, China Eastern Airlines will place its MU’ code on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

The airlines have plans to expand the partnership in subsequent phases of cooperation. For example, China Eastern will place its MU’ code on Etihad Airways flights to destinations not on the Chinese carrier’s network while Etihad Airways plans to codeshare on China Eastern’s domestic services beyond its Shanghai hub.

The two airlines also plan to offer reciprocal benefits such as mileage earn and burn to members of their frequent flyer programs, Etihad Guest and Eastern Miles, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The new codeshare services between Abu Dhabi and China go on sale on 30 August 2012 for travel from 3 September.