UAE’s second-largest airline Etihad Airways and Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air have signed a Strategic Commercial Cooperation Agreement (SCCA) in order to broaden the partnership between the two airlines.
Etihad Airways said in a statement that the wide-ranging deal, subject to regulatory approvals, sets out concrete steps for increasing commercial cooperation building on an agreement signed by airlines in 2018.
According to the statement, the first phase of the SCAA, to be implemented by June 2021, will significantly expand the scope of the partnership codeshare agreement between the airlines. Etihad and Gulf Air will be able to offer up to 30 more combined destinations beyond the Abu Dhabi and Bahrain hubs to destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The airlines will work together to optimize joint operations along the Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route, with network connectivity improvements. They will also improve 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.
“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.”
“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,” commented Waleed Alalawi, acting chief executive at Gulf Air.