09 Jul 2014 14:30
Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines (PAL) today announced a strategic partnership agreement that marks a new era of cooperation between the flag carriers.
The agreement covers codeshare flights, loyalty programs, airport
lounges, joint sales and marketing programs, a Philippines domestic air pass,
cargo, and the coordination of airport operations to provide a better guest
experience at their Abu Dhabi and Manila hubs.
Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan
said the broad scope of the commercial agreement reflected the strength of the
relationship between the airlines and the close ties between the United Arab
Emirates and the Philippines.
“This new partnership builds on the success of our original
codeshare agreement and reflects the mutual respect, trust and goodwill that
have built up over time – not only between the airlines but also between our
“What is particularly significant about the new commercial
arrangements is that our millions of customers are the winners. From a greater
choice of passenger and freight codeshare destinations, to reciprocal loyalty
program benefits, and more efficient terminal operations – this is a truly
PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said: “This
new agreement is one of the ways by which PAL hopes to further build its global
network. By harmonising our products, we get to offer our passengers much wider
and better travel options all over the world while boosting economic activity
for both our countries through trade and tourism.”
Initially, the airline partners will place their respective ‘PR’
and ‘EY’ codes on each other’s Manila-Abu Dhabi flights to operate a combined
total of 19 weekly flights between the two capitals. Etihad Airways will also
place its ‘EY’ code on Philippine Airlines flights from Manila to 20 destinations
throughout the Philippines in the first phase, increasing to 28 during 2014.
Members of Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles Frequent Flyer
Program and Etihad Airways Etihad Guest will enjoy reciprocal loyalty program
benefits including miles earn and redemption, priority check-in and boarding,
baggage handling and lounge access across both networks.
During September and October, double miles will be awarded to
Etihad Guest members travelling on any Philippine Airlines flight and to
Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles members travelling on Etihad Airways flights.
The agreement also extends the use of Etihad
Airways premium lounges in Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow to Philippine
Airlines Business Class guests and Mabuhay Miles Million Miler, Premier
Elite and Elite members when traveling on Philippine Airlines’ Manila-Abu
Dhabi and Manila-London Heathrow flights. This comes into effect from
1 August for the Abu Dhabi lounges and 1 November for London Heathrow.
On the cargo front, the airlines have signed a letter of intent
for an extensive capacity agreement based on the bellyhold of all passenger
services between Abu Dhabi and Manila, as well as connecting airfreight into
Africa, Australia, the Middle East and South East Asia. The airlines will work
on the joint development of value-added cargo products such as priority and
pharmaceuticals across their combined networks.
They are also developing a joint
air pass scheme which will enable overseas visitors to purchase an
international flight to Manila and up to three additional sectors on Philippine
Airlines’ domestic network. This will enable travellers to visit more of the
Philippines and provide a significant boost to the local tourism industry. The
air pass is expected to go on sale by 1 September 2014.
Etihad Airways operates two flights daily between Abu Dhabi and
Manila using a Boeing 777-300 aircraft with 28 seats in Business Class and 384
in Economy Class.
PAL’s five weekly flights utilise its new Airbus A330-300
aircraft which features a modern, two-class cabin configured into Economy (with
a separate premium economy cabin) and an all-new, state-of-the-art Business
Class. The PAL A330 carries 368 passengers: 323 in Economy; 27 in a spacious
Premium Economy; and 18 in Business Class.
Both airlines have Business Class seats that convert to full-flat
beds and offer full service in Economy Class.
The comprehensive new commercial agreement follows the signing of
a Memorandum of Understanding between the airlines in Abu Dhabi on 28