Etihad Airways has signed a new codeshare deal with Scandinavian carrier SAS, opening up a slew of new routes for both airlines. The deal comes just a few weeks after Etihad started flying from its Abu Dhabi hub to Copenhagen, and the new codeshare arrangement includes connections across Scandinavia.
In the opposite direction, SAS passengers will be able to book a single ticket through to Abu Dhabi and beyond to a range of exotic destinations not previously served by the airline, such as India and Sri Lanka, as well as the Seychelles and Johannesburg.
The codeshare was finalised despite the fact that the Air France-KLM Group recently agreed to take a significant stake in SAS as part of a major restructuring for the embattled airline, which remains under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.
Under the terms of the deal, SAS intends to leave Star Alliance and will join Skyteam, of which Air France and KLM are members. Of course, Etihad Airways isn’t a member of any airline alliance, so the new codeshare deal with SAS shouldn’t immediately pose any issues.
“Our strategic bilateral agreement with SAS, coming after the start of our flights to Copenhagen, allows more seamless travel for our guests from Northern Europe to enjoy Abu Dhabi, and to connect with our growing global network, including our expanding destinations in the Indian Sub-Continent, East Asia, Middle East, and Africa,” commented Etihad’s chief revenue officer Arik De.
“The tie-in gives our guests one-stop access across Scandinavia to destinations including Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Bergen and Aarhus,” De continued.
A codeshare agreement is a common business practice in the aviation industry in which two airlines sell seats on each other’s flights and place their own flight number on a service operated by the other airline.
The advantage of a codeshare agreement is that airlines are able to offer more flights to more destinations, and they get to keep a cut of the revenue generated from tickets on flights operated by the other airline.
The codeshare deal between SAS and Etihad will also allow members of each airline’s frequent flyer programmes to earn miles on flights operated by the other airline, which will be extended across both airline’s route networks.
Etihad expects the codeshare agreement to come into force just before the end of the year.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.