Etihad announces JetBlue deal to expand US services

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Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways on Wednesday announced plans to begin a codeshare agreement with New York's JetBlue Airways.

The deal, which is subject to government approval, will see Etihad Airways place its EY code on JetBlue operated flights, initially at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport and Washington's Dulles International Airport.

In the first stage of the partnership, Etihad Airways said it will codeshare on 40 JetBlue routes within the US.

Further codeshare services are planned on JetBlue flights once Etihad starts daily flights to Los Angeles from June, the airline said in a statement.

Subject to US and foreign government approval, Etihad also plans to codeshare on JetBlue flights between New York and select destinations in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Colombia, it added.

Etihad, along with other state-backed Gulf carriers like Emirates and Qatar Airways, have pumped billions of dollars into expanding its fleet and routes, while other Western airlines have cut costs and shelved growth plans.

James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO, said: "The US is a major and growing market for Etihad Airways and this partnership with JetBlue will enable us to offer our guests more options for travel within and beyond the US.

"In addition to New York and Washington, we also fly daily to Chicago. Just last week, we also announced a second daily flight between our hub, Abu Dhabi, and New York City, and we will start flights to Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth in June and December this year."

Robin Hayes, JetBlue's president, added: "Like JetBlue, Etihad Airways has quickly established  itself as a premier brand built on excellent service  and a high-quality product. We look forward to partnering more closely with the airline and affording our customers access to some of the world's most fascinating destinations."

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