Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi national flag carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines, announced positive growth in traffic since their codeshare partnership began in November 2018.
Jointly, Etihad and Saudia have flown over 16,000 guests across the partnership, solidifying the airlines’ commitment to growing inbound business and tourism in their respective markets.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group said, "The close and expanding partnership between Etihad and Saudia is giving us a unique opportunity to build on the deep ties that exist between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. As the national airline of the UAE, this is a role we are extremely proud to play.
"With greater choice now available, more flexibility across both our schedules and world-leading products and services, together, we now fly approximately 150 guests per day across each other’s networks. Our plan is to grow this number considerably through expansion of the codeshare agreement in the coming months, and to deliver more benefits to our customers."
The codeshare agreement has seen ‘EY’ and ‘SV’ codes already placed on 14 routes with the addition of Vienna this week. In the coming months, Etihad will place its ‘EY’ code on, Tunis, Sharm El Sheikh and Alexandria. At the same time, Saudia will place its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights to Tokyo, Nagoya, and Baku. Phase two for the ‘EY’ code will include Algiers, Dhaka and Erbil.
Phase two for the ‘SV’ code will include Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Moscow, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Lagos, Minsk, Rabat, Astana, and more points in India.
Director-General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saleh Al Jasser commented on the agreement, "The codeshare partnership with Etihad Airways enables greater connectivity and access to destinations for our guests. By leveraging each of our networks, we are able to provide a wide array of choice and convenience that lends itself well for business and leisure travellers alike."
In other areas of cooperation, Etihad Airways Engineering has been collaborating with SAUDIA since last year, exchanging maintenance and facility support.
On average, Etihad carries approximately 1.3 million passengers a year to and from the kingdom. Etihad Cargo carried more than 23,200 tons of cargo between the two countries last year. In November 2018, Jeddah became the first destination on the airline’s network to be operated by Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The airline marked last year’s Saudi National Day with a special Year of Zayed A380 flight between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah.
Etihad commenced flights to Riyadh in 2004 with just three flights a week. Today, the airline currently operates 84 flights per week to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: three return flights a day to Riyadh, three return flights a day to Jeddah, four return flights a day to Dammam, and twice daily to Medina.