Etihad enters codeshare with Air Canada
By: Ruchi Shroff
Etihad Airways and Air Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a commercial cooperation agreement that will enhance travel services between the UAE and Canada.
While the two carriers currently have interline agreements in place for passenger and cargo services, Etihad and Air Canada intend to offer customers through-checked bags, reciprocal codeshare services and frequent flyer benefits.
The MoU provides for reciprocal codeshare services to Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub and select points in North America served by Air Canadavia its Toronto hub. The two parties have commenced discussions to finalize details with the objective of introducing codeshare services in the third quarter 2013.
The agreement will also allow frequent flyer mileage accrual on codeshare flights by members of Etihad Guest and Aeroplan programmes and reciprocal premium lounge access at Toronto and Abu Dhabi airports for eligible passengers of both airlines.
This announcement follows the recent decision by the governments of the UAE and Canada to restore the previous visa regime which means Canadian nationals can once again obtain a free visa on arrival in the UAE.
The UAE is Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the Middle East region and more than 40,000 Canadians reside in the UAE. Furthermore approximately 150 Canadian companies are based in the UAE.
Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad will place its EY code on Air Canada flights between Toronto and select North American points. In return, Air Canadawill place its AC code on Etihad’s non-stop services between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, as well as Etihad flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi.
They will also work together to enhance cargo services into and out of Abu Dhabi and Toronto, and beyond on each other’s networks.