Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and American Airlines announced today that they will build on their existing codeshare relationship by offering their passengers the opportunity to earn frequent flyer miles on flights booked on each other's flights.
Starting June 1, members of Etihad Airways Etihad Guest frequent flyer program will be able to earn miles on eligible American Airlines flights. Likewise, members of American Airlines AAdvantage program will be able to earn miles on eligible Etihad Airways flights. The airlines plan to expand this agreement later this year to include mileage redemption across the two airline's networks.
The codeshare agreement between Etihad and American, in place since August 2009, delivers a combined codeshare network of more than 50 destinations worldwide.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: "A key strength in Etihad's growth has been the strategic development of our network of airline partners. American Airlines has a wide-reaching destination network and a highly loyal customer base, making them an ideal partner for us in expanding our global reach beyond the destinations we serve directly.
"Through this new frequent flyer program agreement, I look forward to providing a more seamless and enjoyable travel experience for AAdvantage members on our network, as well as offering more opportunities to earn miles for the loyal members of Etihad Guest."
"We are very pleased to announce our frequent flyer partnership with Etihad, an airline that offers our customers the choice of flying to destinations across the Middle East," said Virasb Vahidi, American's Chief Commercial Officer.
On Chicago-O'Hare and New York-JFK – Abu Dhabi routes, AAdvantage mileage accrual is valid only on American marketed/Etihad operated flights. On Chicago-O'Hare, New York-JFK and Toronto – Abu Dhabi routes, Etihad Guest mileage accrual is valid only on Etihad marketed and operated flights.
The AAdvantage program was the first frequent flyer program, and was established in 1981. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the AAdvantage program, which now has more than 67 million members worldwide. Members can earn miles at more than 1,000 participating companies, which include 27 hotel chains representing more than 60 brands, more than 20 airlines, eight car-rental companies, 11 financial companies, and over 500 brand name retailers. In addition, members can earn miles when making purchases with one of more than 100 affinity card products in over 40 countries. In 2010, AAdvantage members redeemed more than 165 billion miles to claim just fewer than 7.2 million awards for flights, upgrades and car rentals. For more information and a listing of AAdvantage program participating companies, visit www.aa.com/aadvantage .