Etihad Airways and Gulf Air recently formalised a Strategic Commercial Cooperation Agreement (SCCA) to further bolster their alliance.
The SCCA sets out specific actions for broadening commercial cooperation, building on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the airlines signed in 2018. It entails a phased approach to closer collaboration between the partners.
In Phase 1, to be implemented by June 2021, the scope of the partners’ codeshare agreement will be significantly expanded. Etihad Airways and Gulf Air will be able to offer up to an additional 30 combined destinations beyond the Abu Dhabi and Bahrain hubs, across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The airlines will closely collaborate to optimise joint operations on the Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route, with improvements to network connectivity over each of the partners’ hubs. The partners will also enhance their respective offerings to premium tier customers of Etihad Guest and Falconflyer, including reciprocal lounge access at the hubs and enhanced recognition through a guest’s journey, regardless of the operating airline.
The carriers will also work together to improve the customer journey on the Abu Dhabi–Bahrain route, making it more seamless, with enhanced and harmonised policies and products in areas such as baggage and ancillaries.
Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, Tony Douglas remarked on the development: “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.”
Meanwhile, acting CEO, Gulf Air, Captain Waleed AlAlawi said: “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.”