Introduction

Aer Lingus partnership

Etihad Airways confirmed its acquisition of a 2.987 percent stake in Aer Lingus on May 1, 2012, reflecting our desire to forge a commercial partnership with the Irish national carrier.

The announcement was followed by a historic interline and codeshare agreement between the two airlines, revealed on July 30, 2012.

As part of the agreement, our “EY” code was placed on Aer Lingus flights between Dublin, Manchester and London Heathrow, together with destinations in Ireland, the British Isles, the Channel Islands, Portugal, the Netherlands and the US.

In return, Aer Lingus placed its “EI” code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, and have full access to flights across our network beyond Abu Dhabi, to points including Australia, Asia-Pacific, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.

The codeshare flights have been available to purchase for travel since September 15, 2012. In addition, members of our Etihad Guest loyalty programme can earn miles on Aer Lingus codeshare flights.

Looking ahead, we are discussing further integration of our loyalty programme with that of Aer Lingus, while other commercial and cost opportunities are being explored to develop a closer working relationship in areas such as joint procurement.

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Guest experience

Aer Lingus operates a modern fleet of Airbus A320, A321 and A330 aircraft, with an average age of 6.2 years (as of December 31, 2011). 

An all–economy class service is offered on the Irish carrier’s short-haul network, which comprises passenger services from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Belfast and Gatwick to destinations in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. 

In addition, a two-class service is operated on its long-haul network from Shannon and Dublin to four destinations in the United States. 
The Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge in Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 offers a modern surrounding while you relax for your flight, with complementary wi-fi, refreshments and newspapers. 

Additional lounge facilities are available at most airports served by Aer Lingus, with access for passengers travelling in the airline’s business class. Most of these are owned and operated by airport handling partners.

Passengers travelling on Aer Lingus flights within Europe have access to its Sky Deli service, offering a variety of hot and cold beverages at reasonable prices.

On long haul services, a complimentary meal is served while a wide range of options, including child meals, are available on request.

Complimentary soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are also offered at reasonable prices in economy class, while business class passengers have access to benefits such as pre-departure champagne and a bar service. 

The latest on-demand in-flight entertainment system has been installed on Aer Lingus economy and business class cabins on long haul flights to/from the USA, offering a wide range of blockbuster films, TV programmes and music videos.

You can also choose to play an interactive game from the large selection on board or compete against other passengers on your flight. Business class passengers can enjoy the in-flight entertainment system on personal 10.5-inch screens from the comfort of lie-flat seats.

Codeshare agreement

As a guest of Etihad Airways, you will receive a variety of benefits from our partnership with Aer Lingus, including new travel options with codeshare flights and greater opportunities to earn and redeem miles through the Etihad Guest frequent flyer programme.

Codeshare agreement

Shortly after our 2.987 percent equity purchase in Aer Lingus was announced, Etihad Airways signed a historic interline and codeshare agreement with the Irish carrier.

As part of the agreement, our “EY” code was placed on Aer Lingus flights between Dublin, Manchester and London Heathrow, together with destinations in Ireland, the British Isles, the Channel Islands, Portugal, the Netherlands and the US.

In return, Aer Lingus placed its “EI” code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, and have full access to flights across our network beyond Abu Dhabi, to points including Australia, Asia-Pacific, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said the codeshare agreement with Aer Lingus would provide Etihad customers with new travel options and flights connections to Ireland, the UK, continental Europe, and across the Atlantic to Boston and New York.

Codeshare flights

He added: “The codeshare agreement is an early indication of the success of Etihad Airways’ strategic plan to acquire equity in Aer Lingus and other airlines and the instant benefit it brings to both airlines’ customers around the world.”

Our new codeshare flights have been offered for travel since September 15, 2012, with the Etihad Airways “EY” code placed on the following Aer Lingus flights:

• Between Dublin and Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kerry, Lisbon, London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester.

• Between London Heathrow and Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

• Between Manchester and Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

• Between Dublin and Boston and New York JFK.

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Loyalty programme

Members of the Etihad Guest loyalty programme are able to earn miles on Aer Lingus codeshare flights, the benefits of which are detailed more extensively on our Etihad Guest website.

Spend as little as one Etihad Guest Mile, and take advantage of amazing shopping opportunities at our Reward Shop. Or use your Etihad Guest Miles for free flights and experience the warm welcome of our Pearl Business Class or the unparalleled luxury of our Diamond First Class.

In addition, we are discussing further integration of loyalty programmes with Aer Lingus.

Frequently asked questions

What does this new partnership mean for me?

Numerous benefits have been created from our partnership with Aer Lingus, including new travel options with codeshare flights and greater opportunities to earn and redeem miles through the Etihad Guest frequent flyer programme.

What are the immediate changes that might affect me?

For customers with pre-existing bookings, either through Etihad Airways, Aer Lingus or our other codeshare partners, there is no immediate change. Flight bookings, frequent flyer benefits and lounge access all remain the same for the immediate future.

How important is Ireland as a market for Etihad Airways?

We operate 10 flights a week from Abu Dhabi to Dublin, with more than 800,000 passengers carried between the two capitals from July 2007, when flights commenced on the route, to July 2012. In addition, we have a premium lounge at Dublin Airport and an engineering maintenance facility, while recruitment drives have been conducted across the country. We have also renewed our sponsorship of the Gaelic Athletic Association, signing a five-year deal in 2012.

What difference does a codeshare mean for me?

Codeshare flights have been available to purchase for travel since September 15, 2012, resulting in a wide range of new choices for customers of both airlines, with one booking and one fare.

Is the Etihad Guest flyer programme impacted?

Members of the Etihad Guest loyalty programme can earn miles on Aer Lingus codeshare flights, the benefits of which are detailed more extensively on our Etihad Guest website. In addition, we are discussing further integration of our loyalty programme with Aer Lingus.

How is this partnership different from other codeshare relationships?

We are developing a long-term strategic partnership with Aer Lingus, signified by our decision to acquire a near 3 percent stake in the Irish national carrier.

What prompted Etihad Airways to form this partnership?

It’s all about choice. At Etihad Airways, we have developed many partnerships over the past eight years and through our codeshare relationships, we already offer more destinations than any other Middle Eastern airline. With this Aer Lingus partnership, that choice increases even more.

Is group travel affected on these services?

Customers and travel agents will be able to make group bookings with either airline via specialised group bookings teams.