Etihad Airways welcomes Virgin Australia alliance

Abu Dhabi, Oct 30 (IANS/WAM) United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier Etihad Airways on Friday welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft determination approving the re-authorisation of its agreement with Virgin Australia for a further five years.

This will enable Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia to continue code-sharing on the Australia-Abu Dhabi route and offering reciprocal lounge and frequent flyer benefits beyond the current authorisation’s expiry date of February 25, 2016.

Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer, James Hogan, said: “The announcement by the ACCC is great news for the partnership and for Australian travellers.

“In its first five years, the partnership between Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia has promoted vigorous competition in the Australian travel market, increasing choice for travellers, and has generated significant benefits and increased revenue for each airline through the alignment of our operations.”

“Our intention over the next five years is to expand our global reach and to enhance the guest experience for our shared customers.”

Under the current agreement, Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia offer codeshare services to 39 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, and to 52 destinations in Australia and Asia.

They also cooperate extensively in the areas of sales and marketing, purchasing and procurement, flight and cabin crew secondments and offer reciprocal benefits to their frequent flyers including access to airport lounges across their combined networks.

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