Etihad hopes for fruits from Kiwi deal adding Air New Zealand to its list of code-share partners.
Etihad signs deal with Air New Zealand
Etihad Airways pushed deeper into the Australasian market with a code share partnership with Air New Zealand.
The news comes just weeks before Etihad is due to launch a strategic alliance with Virgin Blue of Australia that will extend its network into the region by an additional 45 destinations.
"This new codeshare illustrates Etihad's growing ambitions in the Asia Pacific region," said James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad. "It opens up five key destinations in New Zealand that we have been eager to offer our customers for a long time.
The deal will see Etihad's 'EY' code placed on Air New Zealand flights between Sydney and Christchurch, Rotorua, Wellington and Queenstown. The Etihad code will also be placed on Air New Zealand flights between Brisbane and Auckland; and Brisbane and Christchurch; as well as between Beijing and Auckland.
The agreement will integrate the two airlines' loyalty programs, Air New Zealand Airpoints and Etihad's Etihad Guest, enabling customers able to earn and redeem miles on each other's flights.
"We are certain the connections and seamless flight experience offered by Etihad and Air New Zealand will appeal to business and leisure travellers," Mr Hogan said.