Etihad Airways Signs Codeshare Agreement With SAS

The agreement will come into effect at the end of this year. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has signed a strategic codeshare partnership with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) to enhance passenger connectivity across both airline networks. The news came after Etihad Airways began its flights to Copenhagen last month. The two airlines aim to offer a seamless travel experience, both in Europe and the Middle East.

A new partnership

The Air France-KLM group has recently agreed to purchase a 19.9% stake in SAS. The codeshare agreement with Etihad is a positive sign for the Scandinavian Airlines as it comes out of bankruptcy. The agreement will come into effect at the end of December when customers can book tickets across Etihad’s sales network.

The Chief Revenue Officer of Etihad Airways, Arik De, expressed his enthusiasm about the new flights to Copenhagen and increased services through the codeshare agreement with SAS by saying,

“Our strategic bilateral agreement with SAS, coming after the start of our flights to Copenhagen, allows more seamless travel for our guests from northern Europe to enjoy Abu Dhabi and to connect with our growing global network, including our expanding destinations in the Indian subcontinent east, Asia, Middle East, and Africa.”

Etihad Airways inaugurated flights between Abu Dhabi and Copenhagen on September 29. The four-times-weekly service will be operated by Etihad’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline intends to provide single-stop access to other destinations across Scandinavia. Arik De further stated,

“The tie-in gives our guests one-stop access across Scandinavia to destinations, including Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Bergen, and Arhaus. This agreement is just the latest in our mission to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s cultural and economic growth by welcoming more guests to our home enjoying enhanced travel benefits and greater treasured experiences.”

SAS’s connectivity in Asia

The agreement is equally beneficial for SAS in strengthening its connectivity through the Middle East, and in the Asian subcontinent. The airline is expected to benefit from the growing aviation market in India, providing one-stop connectivity via Abu Dhabi to Scandinavian destinations.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of SAS, Paul Varhagen, said,

“We are happy for the opportunity to introduce a new culture agreement with Etihad Airways. This partnership expands the choices available to SAS customers for journeys to Abu Dhabi and beyond, with connections to India, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and more we will continue to enhance international connectivity and remain committed to our promise of providing seamless travel experiences to our customers.”

Like many codeshare agreements, this agreement would allow Etihad guest members to earn miles on SAS-operated flights. Similarly, the Euro bonus members of the Scandinavian airlines will earn credits across both airline networks.

Etihad Airways has tough competition in Europe and Scandinavian countries from the other two Middle Eastern carriers, Emirates and Qatar Airways. The agreement with SAS is expected to provide Etihad an edge over its competitors.

By Mian Saeed Ahmed Khan