Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has struck a codeshare agreement with Korean Air, its 46th such agreement.
Etihad Airways in Korean Air codeshare agreement
Etihad Airways has struck a codeshare agreement with Korean Air as the Abu Dhabi carrier seeks to expand its network and leverage the growing trade between the UAE and South Korea.
"Codesharing on the Abu Dhabi-Seoul route will enable the airlines to leverage the strength of their respective brands and distribution channels for mutual commercial and customer benefit," said James Hogan, Etihad's president and chief executive.
The airline has expanded rapidly through a combination of equity alliances and codeshare agreements, allowing it to extend its route network and funnel more passengers through the capital.
The carrier last week announced record passenger revenues of US$921 million in the second quarter, up by 8 per cent from $855m in the same period last year and the airline's strongest performance for the quarter on record.
Passenger revenue for the first half of the year reached $1.8 billion, a rise of 13 per cent from $1.6bn in the first half of last year.
Etihad has operated daily flights to Seoul's Incheon airport since 2010, a year after South Korea won a bid to build four nuclear reactors in the Emirates.
South Korea's state nuclear company Korea Electric Power Corporation is now building the reactors in Abu Dhabi emirate. These are scheduled to come online between 2017 and 2020.
With the new deal, Etihad has 46 codeshare agreements. Earlier this month, it signed a similar deal with South African Airways and last month it signed one with Indonesia's Garuda airlines for the Jakarta-Perth leg.
Under codeshare agreements, two or more airlines share the same flight. While seats on a flight can be sold under the name of one airline, another can operate it. Airlines are using such deals worldwide to increase their market access.
To increase its market share, Etihad is also acquiring stakes in airlines.
In April, India's Jet Airways approved Etihad's proposal to buy a 24 per cent stake in Jet for $379m. The deal is under review by the Indian government.
Other airlines in which Etihad has interests include Germany's Air Berlin, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles.