May 19, 2021: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier, SAUDIA, announced a new reciprocal loyalty agreement, expanding on the existing codeshare deal between the two airlines.
Members of the Etihad Guest and ALFURSAN programmes can now earn and redeem miles on flights across both carriers’ networks. Loyalty programme members from both airlines will also be able to earn Tier Miles and Tier Segments, helping them progress to the next tier level faster. In addition, members will be able to earn miles on Etihad and SAUDIA codeshare flights.
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand & Marketing, Etihad Airways, said: “As the aviation industry begins to restart and guests return to the skies, this partnership strengthens the airlines’ commitment to growing inbound business and tourism in their respective markets. It complements Etihad’s existing codeshare agreement with SAUDIA and opens more destinations for Etihad Guest members to earn and spend their miles through travel.”
Khalid Al-Bassam, Chief Commercial Officer, SAUDIA, commented: “We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Etihad through this latest agreement, which further builds on our shared history of successful collaboration. By offering our guests more opportunities to earn miles we are bringing greater value, flexibility and convenience to their travel experience, which will help fuel growth in demand and contribute to our goal of enhancing the Kingdom’s aviation and tourism sectors.”
The partners are also re-launching their codeshare cooperation beyond each other’s hubs. Under this extensive commercial partnership, which has seen more than 110,000 passenger journeys facilitated over the past two years, SAUDIA has added its ‘SV’ code to 15 destinations on the Etihad network in Saudi Arabia, Asia, the US and Europe. In addition, Etihad has added its ‘EY’ code to SAUDIA destinations in the Kingdom and Pakistan. This facilitates growth and recovery for both airlines, provides greater choice, convenience and flexibility for guests and freight customers, and further strengthens the ties between the two nations.
In other areas of cooperation, Etihad Airways Engineering has been collaborating with SAUDIA since 2016 at its MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) facility in Abu Dhabi.
Etihad has been operating to Saudi Arabia since 2004, and prior to Covid pandemic, were operating up to 77 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah and Medina.
The airline is presently operating direct flights to Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah and guests transiting through Abu Dhabi from the Kingdom have access to Etihad’s USA pre-clearance, the only United States Customs and Border Protection facility in the Middle East. This allows passengers bound for the United States to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they board they board their flight to Chicago, New York or Washington D.C.
Etihad remains committed to the Saudi Arabian market and looks forward to increasing service levels as and when current border and travel restrictions are eased.