Etihad Airways says it has formed a “powerhouse” group of airlines, which, with their networks combined form “unparalleled” air services between Australia and Europe.
Spending the past two years focusing on forming alliances with Virgin Australia, airberlin, Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Czech Airlines, Etihad chief executive James Hogan says the carrier is now positioned to meet “huge demand” for flights from Australia to major cities across Europe.
As well as offering “seamless travel” between Australia and Europe, Mr Hogan said the agreements will also boost tourism to Abu Dhabi, with more than 14 million passengers predicted to pass through the region’s airport in 2012, 13 percent more than in 2011.
“As these codeshare partnerships mature further we will continue to see a shift in the way air travellers fly between Europe and Australia and Abu Dhabi further cement its place as a leading global hub,” he said.
The group’s roots were planted in 2011, when the airline formed its ‘multi-layered’ partnership with Virgin, which saw the two airlines commence codeshare on 24 flights a week to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Etihad then signed its “historic” agreement with Air France-KLM in October this year, which extended the airline’s network to an extra 321 destinations.
Meanwhile, from 1 December this year, the Abu Dhabi carrier will codeshare on Alitalia’s direct flights between Rome and Abu Dhabi, while Czech added its OK code on Etihad’s flights between Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.airberlin offers operates flights on a daily basis from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi and from there passengers can connect with flights operated by Etihad Airways to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J