Philippine Airlines and Etihad Airways Sign Strategic Partnership

Philippine Airlines and Etihad Airways have enhanced the level of cooperation between the two carriers with the signing of a landmark strategic partnership on July 9. The new comprehensive partnership agreement expands the working relationship of the two airlines following the memorandum of understanding that was signed earlier this year in April.

Image Source: Philippine Airlines / Facebook
The strategic partnership will cover loyalty programs, airport lounges, codeshare flights, sales and marketing programs, cargo operations, a Philippine domestic air pass, and coordination of airport operations in Manila and Abu Dhabi, the primary hubs of each carrier.

According to James Hogan, President & CEO of Etihad Airways, the broader scope of this new commercial agreement is a reflection of the strength of the relationship between the two carriers and two nations.

"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 governments," said Hogan. "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 customer-centric proposition."

Image Source: Philippine Airlines / Facebook

In the early stages of the strategic alliance, both carriers will place their flight codes, 'PR' and 'EY' on each other's flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi for a combined total of 19 weekly flights between the two capitals. Etihad will also be codesharing on a number of Philippine Airlines domestic flights to 20 destinations throughout the Philippines during the initial phase, followed by an additional 8 later on for a total of 28 codeshare destinations in the Philippines.

Image Source: Philippine Airlines / Facebook
Philippine Airlines President Ramon Ang reported earlier this week that a major foreign carrier is poised to announce a stake in the flag carrier but declined to comment whether it was Etihad Airways. "This new agreement is one of the ways by which PAL hopes to further build its global network," said Ang. "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."

Frequent flyer members of the Etihad Guest program and the Mabuhay Miles program will also now enjoy reciprocal benefits including earning miles and redeeming on both carriers. In addition, frequent flyers of both carriers will enjoy priority check-in and boarding, lounge access across both networks, and baggage handling privileges.

Image Source: Philippine Airlines / Facebook

Etihad's premium lounges in Abu Dhabi and London's Heathrow Airport will now also be available to Business Class passengers travelling on Philippine Airlines and to any Mabuhay Miles Million Miler, Premier Elite, and Elite passengers travelling on PAL Manila to Abu Dhabi or Manila to London Heathrow flights. Lounge access in Abu Dhabi will come into effect on August 1, while lounge access at London Heathrow will be available from November 1.

The two carriers will also be cooperating on the cargo front with an extensive capacity agreement based on the current bellyhold of all passenger flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi, in addition to connecting airfreight to destinations in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Both carriers will be seeking to develop value-added cargo products across their combined networks that will enhance value to consumers including priority services.

Meanwhile, both carriers are seeking to tap into the strength of the growing Philippine tourism industry by developing a joint air pass scheme that will enable foreign visitors to purchase an international flight to Manila, plus up to three additional sectors on PAL's domestic network. The new program is expected to give the local tourism industry a significant boost while enabling more travellers to see more of the Philippines. The new air pass is expected to be available for sale on September 1.

Image Source: Philippine Airlines / Facebook
Etihad Airways presently operates two daily flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi, while Philippine Airlines operates five weekly flights between the two cities. Flights operated by Etihad use a 412-seat Boeing 777-300 aircraft, while flights operated by Philippine Airlines use a 368-seat Airbus A330-300. Although both carriers feature Business Class with full-flat beds and full-service in Economy Class, Philippine Airlines is the only carrier to offer a separate Premium Economy cabin between Manila and Abu Dhabi.

1 comment:

  1. Wondering when will Eitihad Guest Goild be recoqnized for access at the Mabuhay Lounge in Philippines. Did I miss when it says it will be in effect? Also when exactly can you start earning EY miles when flying PR?


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