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UAE, Israeli national carriers launch plan for closer business ties

UAE, Israeli national carriers launch plan for closer business ties

The national carriers of the UAE and Israel on Thursday launched their joint codeshare network and reciprocal loyalty agreement for frequent flyers. Etihad Airways and EL AL Israel Airlines said in a statement that the launch builds on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) the airlines signed in 2020 following the Abraham Accords signed by the

The national carriers of the UAE and Israel on Thursday launched their joint codeshare network and reciprocal loyalty agreement for frequent flyers.

Etihad Airways and EL AL Israel Airlines said in a statement that the launch builds on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) the airlines signed in 2020 following the Abraham Accords signed by the UAE and Israel.

Etihad Airways completes first passenger flight from Abu Dhabi to Israel

Etihad will initially offer two weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv on its flagship Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Available for sale from Thursday for flights from July 18, 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 new partnership will extend further and is planned to include destinations in Australia, Bahrain, India, Korea, Philippines and Seychelles from August 1, the statement said.

In the next phase of extending the codeshare agreement, subject to obtaining applicable governmental and regulatory approvals, Etihad said it will offer guests an additional 14 destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and US by adding its ‘EY’ code to EL AL flights.

In other areas of collaboration, the airlines will also establish a reciprocal loyalty agreement. Members of the Etihad Guest and Matmid programmes will be able to earn and redeem miles on flights across both carriers’ networks.

Tony Douglas (pictured above), group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We are very pleased to be able to announce the launch of our codeshare and frequent flyer partnership with El Al. This partnership will provide additional choice and connectivity for both carriers’ guests, and a range of benefits for frequent travelers between and beyond our respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.” 

The 2020 MOU also provided for exploration of MRO, pilot and crew training, and cargo opportunities, which the parties are progressing.

Avigal Soreq, CEO, EL AL Israel Airlines said: “This is the first commercial partnership that EL AL has established following the Abrahamic Accords. 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.”

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