Air Canada (Montreal) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a commercial cooperation agreement that will enhance travel services between the United Arab Emirates and Canada.
While the two carriers currently have interline agreements in place for passenger and cargo services, Etihad Airways and Air Canada intend to offer customers through-checked bags, reciprocal codeshare services and frequent flyer benefits.
The MoU provides for reciprocal codeshare services to Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub and select points in North America served by Air Canada via its Toronto hub. The two parties have commenced discussions to finalize details with the objective of introducing codeshare services in the third quarter of 2013.
The agreement will also allow frequent flyer mileage accrual on codeshare flights by members of Etihad Guest and Aeroplan programs and reciprocal premium lounge access at Toronto and Abu Dhabi airports for eligible passengers of both airlines.
This announcement follows the recent decision by the Governments of the UAE and Canada to restore the previous visa regime which means Canadian nationals can once again obtain a free visa on arrival in the UAE.
The UAE is Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the Middle East region and more than 40,000 Canadians reside in the UAE. Furthermore approximately 150 Canadian companies are based in the UAE.
Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on Air Canada flights between Toronto and select North American points.
In return, Air Canada will place its AC code on Etihad Airways’ non-stop services between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, as well as Etihad Airways’ flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways and Air Canada will also work together to enhance cargo services into and out of Abu Dhabi and Toronto, and beyond on each other’s networks.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 nIGW C-FHJU (msn 19000044) arrives at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETK (msn 39686) takes off from London (Heathrow).