30 Oct 2015 10:00
Etihad Airways today welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft determination approving the reauthorisation of its commercial cooperation agreement with Virgin Australia for a further five years.
This will enable
Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia to continue codesharing on the Australia-Abu
Dhabi route and offering reciprocal lounge and frequent flyer benefits beyond
the current authorisation’s expiry date of 25 February 2016.
President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “Today’s announcement
by the ACCC is great news for the partnership and for Australian travellers.
“In its first five
years, the partnership between Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia has promoted
vigorous competition in the Australian travel market, increasing choice for
travellers, and has generated significant benefits and increased revenue for
each airline through the alignment of our operations.
“Our shared commitment
to innovation and superior service delivery ensures that travellers who fly on
either airline enjoy an unrivalled guest experience and access to a combined
network of 91 codeshare destinations.
“Our intention over
the next five years is to expand our global reach and to enhance the guest
experience for our shared customers.”
Under the current
agreement, Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia offer codeshare services to 39
international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, and
to 52 destinations in Australia and Asia.
They also cooperate
extensively in the areas of sales and marketing; purchasing and procurement; flight
and cabin crew secondments; and offer reciprocal benefits to their frequent
flyers including access to airport lounges across their combined networks.
Etihad Airways has a 24.2 per cent stake in
Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) and holds a seat on the Virgin Australia board.