Etihad and Gulf Air deepen cooperation pact

Etihad Airways and Gulf Air have agreed to strengthen their operational links by signing a strategic commercial cooperation agreement (SCCA).

The SCCA will apply both to direct links between their respective bases in Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Bahrain (BAH), and beyond.

The new agreement, which will come into force after gaining the necessary governmental and regulatory approvals, builds on a 2018 MOU between the two airlines. The SCCA envisages a phased approach to closer collaboration.

The first phase, scheduled to be in place by June, will see an existing codeshare agreement significantly expanded, with the two flag-carriers offering up to 30 additional combined destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

The 2018 MOU agreed to explore MRO, pilot and crew training, and cargo opportunities; the companies will now re-visit this in the light of current market opportunities and company requirements.

The SCCA was signed remotely by Etihad Aviation Group Group CEO Tony Douglas (pictured left) and Gulf Air acting CEO Waleed AlAlawi (pictured right).

“Our relationship with Etihad Airways has always been strong and today we are reaching a higher level of collaboration with many more opportunities on the horizon between the national carriers of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” AlAlawi said.

Douglas commented: “We look forward to exploring pragmatic ways in which the two carriers can increasingly work seamlessly between our two capitals, enhance benefits and customer experience for our most frequent travelers and further extend the reach of our joint networks beyond our hubs."

Photo credit: Gulf Air

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.