The arrangement means the daily Etihad flights between the three busy cities of economically booming China and the capital of the United Arab Emirates, will now carry the ‘CZ’ code of China Southern. This also gives China Southern passengers the opportunity to connect on to Etihad’s extensive network of over 100 worldwide destinations.
The partnership was set in place as of the 22nd of June and brings the number of codeshare agreements operated by Etihad to 53 codeshare partnerships.
Etihad Executive Vice President Commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki said that the move is an important step in the airline’s plans to expand its network both in China and globally.
“The codeshare partnership with China Southern Airlines is a significant milestone in the airlines’ network development strategy and a key component of its footprint in the China market. This is a further example of our strategy of working with partners to extend our reach, and provide business and leisure travellers with more options.
“China is one of the fastest growing travel markets in the world, and one of the most competitive. By partnering with China Southern Airlines, each airline can use its strengths to benefit the other and offer more choice with enhanced connectivity to all guests, while experiencing the world-class services and products offered by both airlines.
“Recent developments such as visas upon arrival will help promote the UAE and Abu Dhabi as unique business and leisure destinations. Furthermore, Etihad Airways’ innovative and award-winning products and service will meet Chinese travellers’ high expectations for greater comfort, superior service standards, more choice and convenience."
It is a symbiotic partnership, with China Southern senior management of international cooperation agreeing that the partnership reinforces both airlines’ global network saying, “We are excited about the new partnership with Etihad Airways, which will further strengthen the global network of both airlines and provide increased benefits to all our passengers."
“Through this partnership, China Southern Airlines will be able to extend our services globally- via Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub to the Middle East, Africa and Europe."
Reciprocal loyalty partnership is also on the cards for the airlines so that customers can collect and redeem miles for travel on both carriers.