Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and EL AL Israel Airlines, the national carrier of Israel, launched a joint codeshare network and reciprocal loyalty agreement for frequent flyers. This builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the airlines signed in 2020 following the Abraham Accords signed by the UAE and Israel.
Available for sale starting in July, for flights from 18 July 2021, EL AL will add its ‘LY’ code to Etihad’s existing twice weekly service between Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv. Beyond Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub, the two say this new partnership will extend further and is planned to include destinations in Australia, Bahrain, India, Korea, Philippines and Seychelles beinning in August.
In the next phase of extending the codeshare agreement, subject to obtaining applicable governmental and regulatory approvals, Etihad will offer guests an additional 14 destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and U. S. by adding its ‘EY’ code to EL AL flights.
These codeshare routes will not only provide flyers greater choice and flexibility, it also further strengthens the ties between the two nations.
In other areas of collaboration, the partners will also establish a reciprocal loyalty agreement. Members of the Etihad Guest and Matmid programs will be able to earn and redeem miles on flights across both carriers’ networks. The 2020 MOU also provided for exploration of MRO, pilot and crew training, and cargo opportunities, which the parties are progressing.
“This is the first commercial partnership that EL AL has established following the Abrahamic Accords,” said Avigal Soreq, CEO, EL AL Israel Airlines. “This is an important milestone as this codeshare will bring growing benefits to our passengers and to our respective airlines and countries. The EL AL and Etihad teams have a common goal in this partnership, and we look forward to seeing it grow in the future.”