Gulf Air and Etihad Airways explore a closer relationship

Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A9C-FA (msn 39996) LHR (Wingnut). Image: 944463.

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, are set to explore deeper cooperation following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Bahrain International Airshow.

MOU scope includes provision for:

  • Joint codeshare operations as preferred partners between and beyond hubs
  • Development of commercial agreements to enhance guest experience
  • Coordinated Engineering and Cargo services in Abu Dhabi and Manama
  • Plans to offer reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ on frequent flyer programs


The wide-ranging MOU covers scope to introduce joint codeshare operations between Abu Dhabi and Manama, as well as on the global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ GCC hubs.

The MOU also contains plans for greater commercial cooperation in the fields of cargo, engineering, guest experience and the optimisation of pilot training facilities.

In addition to exploring codeshare operations, the teams at Etihad Guest and Gulf Air Falconflyer loyalty programs will shortly begin discussions which would see members of each programme being offered reciprocal earn and burn opportunities.

The teams in both carriers’ engineering and cargo divisions are also set to begin talks about greater cooperation. These discussions would look at optimising MRO (maintenance repair operations) opportunities, as well as ways to increase volumes of freighter traffic flowing into and out of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Gulf Air currently operates four return daily flights between Bahrain and Abu Dhabi while Etihad currently operates three return daily A320 operations between Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A9C-FA (msn 39996) LHR (Wingnut). Image: 944463.