Etihad Airways has signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EL AL Israel Airlines, the national airline of Israel.
The wide-ranging MOU covers scope to introduce joint codeshare services between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, as well as on the global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ hubs.
The agreement also contains plans for greater commercial cooperation in the fields of cargo, engineering, loyalty, destination management and the optimal use of pilot and cabin crew training facilities.
The MoU was signed ‘virtually’ by group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, Tony Douglas, and CEO, EL AL Israel Airlines, Gonen Usishkin.
Douglas stated: “Following EL AL’s historic flight to Abu Dhabi, the first ever flight between Israel and the UAE, this MOU is the foundation of what we envision will be a strong ongoing relationship between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. We look forward to examining ways in which the two flag carriers – Etihad and EL AL – can work more closely together to improve business operations and enhance the experience for our guests.”
In addition to codeshare operations, the teams at Etihad Guest and EL AL Matmid loyalty programmes will explore reciprocal earn and burn opportunities for its members, as well as other benefits. The airlines’ destination management teams will also collaborate to encourage recipricoal inbound tourism to Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.
“Following the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, we have been provided a great opportunity to examine the possibility of cooperation with Etihad Airways,” Usishkin declared. “This MOU is only the start and we believe that together, the two flag carriers will be able to provide our mutual customers with the best possible product and service. Already, the common goals we have outlined speak for the success of our future cooperation.”