Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Eastern Airlines.
The landmark agreement was signed at a meeting in Shanghai between President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways James Hogan and China Eastern Airlines Chairman Liu Shaoyong.
The MoU will encompass joint route and schedule coordination, codesharing between the UAE and China and in time on each other’s networks, full frequent flyer reciprocity, reciprocal airport lounge access, joint product development, and technical and cargo cooperation – subject to regulatory approval.
Mr Hogan said the MoU with China Eastern Airlines was an important development in Etihad Airways’ China strategy.
“The partnership with China Eastern Airlines will allow us to extend our reach into the dynamic Chinese travel market in a commercially viable and mutually beneficial way.
“It will allow both airlines to offer their customers greater choice in terms of destinations and schedules and practical benefits like reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earn and burn on each other flights – so a win-win for the business and for travellers across our combined global networks.
“We will explore further opportunities to expand the cooperation with China Eastern Airlines and would welcome them operating to and beyond our home base in Abu Dhabi.”
Liu Shaoyong, Chairman of China Eastern Airlines, said: “China Eastern is very pleased to cooperate with Etihad Airways and cherishes this partnership. The signing of the MoU has great significance in terms of further strengthening the airlines’ codesharing, on-ground agent service and frequent flyer program benefits.”
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2011 carried 8.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad serves 84 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with a fleet of 66 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and 100 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also owns nearly 30 per cent of airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest airline, and 40 per cent of Air Seychelles. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
About China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines was founded in April 1995 with the headquarters located in Shanghai. Flying a fleet of 380 wide- and narrow-body aircraft with an average age of less than seven years, China Eastern serves nearly 70 million travelers annually and ranks among the world’s top 10 airlines in passenger transportation volume.