By Courtney Trenwith
Latest partnership is UAE national carrier’s 46th code-share agreement
UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has signed a new codeshare agreement with Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline.
The partnership, which comes into effect on July 22 subject to regulatory approval, is Etihad’s 46 code-share arrangement.
In the first phase, Korean Air will place its KE code on Etihad Airways’ daily services between Seoul’s Incheon International Airport and the UAE capital.
The partnership also means members of each airline’s frequent flyer program can access reciprocal benefits.
Etihad President and CEO James Hogan said the new partnership with Korean Air was a significant development both strategically and commercially.
“It deepens the existing partnership with Korean Air beyond the interline and special prorate agreements inked in August 2009 and creates a rich, new environment for even closer commercial collaboration,” Hogan said.
“Code-sharing on the Abu Dhabi-Seoul route will enable the airlines to leverage the strength of their respective brands and distribution channels for mutual commercial and customer benefit.”
Hogan said there had been rapid growth in travel, trade and investment between the UAE and South Korea and Etihad had experienced significant growth in demand for flights to Seoul since commencing in late 2010.
“Demand for business and leisure travel between Korea and the UAE, Middle East and Africa, in particular, has grown many-fold over the past three years while trade between the UAE and Korea, which was valued at $20bn in 2012, has also been rapidly expanding,” he said.
“Korean investment in infrastructure and other projects in the UAE – valued at approximately $29bn since 2009 – has been a further catalyst for diplomatic, business and cultural exchange and a major contributor to the growth of travel between the two countries.
“We envisage that closer collaboration with Korean Air will foster continued bilateral growth in these areas.”