Henning zur Hausen_Rick Ward

Emirates and Etihad partnership aim to drive UAE tourism growth 

Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have entered an interline expansion agreement that will offer travellers additional itinerary options when visiting the UAE. This first-of-its-kind agreement between the two UAE carriers aims to boost tourism to the UAE from key source markets by enabling visitors to experience more than one destination in a single itinerary. 

This summer, customers of each airline will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return via the other airport. The new agreement also provides travellers planning to explore the UAE with the flexibility of one-stop ticketing for their full journey and convenient baggage check-in. 

The agreement will allow visitors to cover as much ground as possible when exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate, saving time by removing the need to fly home via their arrival airport. Customers travelling into the UAE also have the option of ‘multi-city flights’, with the choice to travel from one city on both carriers’ networks and conveniently returning to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad. 

In the initial stages of the expanded interline, each carrier will focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China. This ‘open jaw’ arrangement will offer visitors more options when exploring the UAE and increase tourism revenue for both airlines. 

The agreement marks the second time the airlines have announced a collaboration. In 2018, Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) signed an MoU to strengthen aviation security, including the sharing of information and intelligence in operational areas both within and outside the UAE. Last year, Emirates signed an MoU with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, to boost tourist numbers to the UAE capital from key source markets across the airline’s global network. 

With this new interline agreement, Emirates and Etihad are taking a bold step towards attracting more tourists to the UAE, while offering them a seamless and convenient travel experience. The airlines are optimistic that this partnership will create new opportunities and further support the growth of the UAE’s tourism industry. 

Etihad Aviation Group legal department is headed by general counsel Henning zur Hausen (pictured left) and Rick Ward (pictured right), group general counsel at Emirates Group, heads the legal department.