Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a codeshare agreement with Hainan Airlines of China. It is the Abu Dhabi-based airline's first codeshare with a Chinese carrier and its 35th with world airlines.Subject to regulatory approvals, from January 10, 2012; Hainan Airline's will place its 'HU' code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and the airline's three gateway cities in China: Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai, according to a release. The arrangement will extend to Etihad Airways flights beyond Abu Dhabi to Khartoum International Airport in Sudan.
James Hogan, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways said the codeshare with Hainan Airlines would help strengthen Etihad's position in the competitive Chinese market. “Working with a major player like Hainan Airlines will increase Chinese passenger numbers on our China-Abu Dhabi services and beyond to popular destinations in Africa, Middle East and Europe. We look forward to expanding the relationship to include more destinations over time.”
Tie Li, President of Hainan Airlines said: “The codeshare cooperation with Etihad Airways will reinforce Hainan Airlines' development in the Middle East and Africa region. We have great expectations of the partnership, and believe that through mutual creativity, we will be able to bring synergy and hopefully value to our customers."
The reciprocal agreement will integrate the Etihad Guest and Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club loyalty programs, enabling travellers to earn miles on each other's flights.
The new codeshare services will go on sale from January 10, 2012, for travel from that date for Beijing and Chengdu flights, and from March 1, 2012 for Shanghai.