Etihad Airways and American Airlines have announced details of a proposed new codeshare agreement which, if it receives regulatory approval from the US government, will pave the way for closer commercial cooperation between the two airlines.
The codeshare agreement will extend further the two airlines’ global networks by providing easy access between Abu Dhabi and key U.S. cities including Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston which have previously been unavailable to Etihad customers.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive, said: “The United States represents a key market for Etihad and one in which we are keen to grow further, both through the addition of new routes of our own, such as Chicago, and through close cooperation with other well-established airlines such as American Airlines.
“American Airlines is one of world’s largest and most respected airlines, and we see this codeshare agreement very much as the start of a deepening strategic relationship which both airlines are committed to developing further in the future.”
Gerard Arpey, Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with Etihad who in a relatively short period of time have established themselves as one of the world’s leading airlines and a major force in the Middle East.
Subject to gaining US government regulatory approval, the new codeshare agreement is expected to come into effect to coincide with the launch by Etihad of its new service to Chicago at the beginning of September 2009.
Once the codeshare agreement is in place, customers transferring between the two carriers will be able to purchase a single ticket for their journey and enjoy the convenience of being able to check in their luggage to their ultimate destination.
Etihad Airways currently flies to two destinations in North America: New York (JFK) and Toronto in Canada. The airline will begin flights to Chicago from 2 September 2009. The route will be served initially three times a week and will increase to daily flights from 1 October 2009.
Etihad Airways was voted “Middle East Leading Airline” at the 2009 World Travel Awards and “World’s Leadin