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Etihad Airways Plans to Launch Subscription-Based Flying for Frequent Travellers

Etihad Airways Plans to Launch Subscription-Based Flying for Frequent Travellers

RUMOUR: Etihad Airways Might Be About to Cancel or Change Dozens of Aircraft Orders

Subscription-based services are all the rage at the moment – from weekly meal kits and vegetable boxes to toothbrush heads, shavers and even underwear. And now you can fly as much as you like with a subscription flight pass that offers either a set number of flights or unlimited flights over a specific time period.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways plans to introduce its so-called TravelPass later this year after partnering with Norwegian technology company Braathens IT. The TravelPass will initially be aimed at corporate and frequent travellers.

Etihad wants Economy passengers to pay for the use of seats that would otherwise be empty. Photo Credit: Etihad Airways
Photo Credit: Etihad Airways

Robin Kamark, the airline’s chief commercial officer claims TravelPass will offer its “time-poor” corporate customers a “revolutionary booking experience”.

“Subscription-based travel is good news for the aviation industry as it provides customers with the choice between prepaid trips and pay-as-you-fly options,” Etihad said in a statement.

Passengers will be able to purchase a TravelPass for a set number of trips or a particular travel period instead of purchasing flights one by one. The system is expected to go live later this year, although an exact date hasn’t yet been revealed.

A number of airlines already offer similar services including SWISS who offer a carnet style flight pass from Geneva to any European destination. A book of ten one-way tickets costs from $918.

Perhaps realising that such an offer won’t necessarily be popular with environmentalists, SWISS also offers the option to add carbon-offsetting to its subscription service. Etihad hasn’t yet explained how its TravelPass will deal with this issue.

TravelPass will allow fee-free changes and the option to spread the cost of the subscription, although no details on pricing have yet been announced. Etihad pointed out that it hopes the service will not only improve the passenger experience but also help retain customers.

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