Aer Lingus Etihad deal confirmed
AER LINGUS and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways have confirmed they have reached a commercial agreement on an interline and code-share arrangement.
The deal had been revealed by The Irish Times on Monday.
Aer Lingus said it would co-operate with Etihad on flights between Abu Dhabi and Dublin and have full access to flights across the network beyond the United Arab Emirates to Australia, Asia-Pacific, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.
Etihad will co-operate with Aer Lingus on services to 18 destinations, including Dublin to New York, Boston, London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Lisbon.
The arrangements will begin in the third quarter of this year.
The airlines said they would discuss additional commercial and cost opportunities to develop a closer working relationship in areas such as joint procurement.
Commenting on the code-sharing and interlining agreement, Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller said: “Today’s announcement supports Aer Lingus’s strategy to provide greater access and choice to our customers.”
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and chief executive, said the deal would provide its customers with “new travel options and flight connections to Ireland, the UK, continental Europe and across the Atlantic to Boston and New York”.
Etihad owns just under 3 per cent of Aer Lingus. The UAE airline has indicated its interest in acquiring the Government’s 25 per cent holding in Aer Lingus when it is put up for sale.
Aer Lingus has rejected a recent €1.30-a-share bid for the company from Irish rival Ryanair, which already owns 29.8 per cent of the airline.