By James Wilkinson
Qantas and Etihad Airways have signed a new codeshare agreement that will see Qantas add four new Middle East destinations, while Etihad will add five cities in Australasia.
Blast off for an Etihad A340-600
The agreement is a huge boost to the flying Kangaroo, which is yet to add Middle East cities with its own aircraft. Qantas has not served the Middle East in its own right since the 1980s, when it was flying Boeing 747-200 aircraft between Sydney and London.
“The new codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways is a significant strategic development for Qantas,” said Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti.
“For the first time, Qantas will be able to offer direct access to multiple points in the Middle East from Sydney, Melbourne and from Brisbane.”
Qantas will codeshare on 21 weekly Etihad services to Abu Dhabi from Brisbane (3), Melbourne (7) and Sydney (11). Codeshare connections will then be available on Etihad services from Abu Dhabi to Amman, Beirut and Bahrain.
Etihad Airways will codeshare on selected Qantas services between Australia and Auckland, along with a range of Qantas domestic services between Adelaide and Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and Cairns and Sydney.
Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan said Australia was an important market for the airline.
“We have a growing presence in Australia and are now pleased to be establishing this strategic codeshare relationship with Qantas,” he said.