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Emirates and Etihad Join Forces With New Interline Agreement

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

629 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways are tightening their relationship with an expansion of their interline agreement.

From Summer 2023, the 2 primary airlines in the United Arab Emirates are giving passengers the option of booking both airlines on a 1-ticket itinerary.

“We are pleased to be working again 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 at Emirates Airline.

Let’s take a look at what this could mean for your next trip to the U.A.E.

Travel Seamlessly With Emirates and Etihad

It’s rare to see this kind of agreement between 2 airlines that should technically be in competition with each other.

This kind of close relationship would be equivalent to the U.K.’s main long-haul carriers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, doing the same thing.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
When you visit the Middle East, don’t forget to stop and see the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Nick Fewings via Unsplash

However, the focus is not on removing competition between the airlines, but rather on making it easier for passengers to visit both Abu Dhabi and Dubai on the same trip, thus increasing tourism to the country.

“With two world-class airlines supporting U.A.E. 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,” said Antonaoldo Neves, CEO at Etihad Airways.

Hot Tip:

Emirates and Etihads’ hard and soft products are very different. Here are reviews of the business class product on an Etihad Airbus A380 and an Emirates A380 to give you an indication of what it might be like to fly them.

Emirates and Etihad joining forces may also give the 2 airlines a competitive edge over Qatar Airways — the third airline in the trio of carriers known as the Middle East “Big 3.”

Initially, passengers traveling from select destinations in China and Europe will be the first to be able to book open-jaw itineraries to the U.A.E. on a single ticket with flights operated by both airlines.

What This Means for Reward Redemptions

Emirates and Etihad maintain separate loyalty programs, Skywards and Etihad Guest, respectively, which have separate earning and redeeming currencies and costs.

A logical next step would be to make it possible to redeem miles on both airlines, but this isn’t guaranteed. At this point, it’s unclear what changes there might be for passengers looking to redeem miles for travel to the U.A.E.

Final Thoughts

Travelers to the U.A.E. will soon be able to book a 1-ticket travel itinerary with flights operated by both Emirates and Etihad.

We’ll be sure to update you once we hear of an official start date as well as any changes there might be to earning or redeeming miles.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.


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