Etihad Airways customers around the world will soon be able to fly to a host of new regional airports within the UK, following the signing of a new codeshare agreement with Flybe, the biggest regional airline in Europe.
The new deal will also give air travellers in the UK greater and easier access to the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s rapidly expanding network of more than 55 destinations.
Under the deal, Etihad will place its two-letter ‘EY’ code on a number of services operated by Flybe between Paris, Frankfurt and Manchester and 35 regional airports within the UK. In turn, Flybe will place its ‘BE’ code on Etihad’s flights between the same three destinations and its Abu Dhabi home base.
Etihad Airways currently flies directly from Abu Dhabi to two destinations within the UK – a three-times-per-day service to London Heathrow and a daily service to Manchester. The new codeshare agreement with Flybe will give Etihad customers access to several regional airports in the UK, including Southampton, Birmingham and Belfast.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: “The UK is a key market for Etihad Airways and one which we are extremely keen to develop further. Flybe is a well-established and well-run operator with great reach within UK and mainline Europe.
“This gives air travellers access to a range of regional destinations within the UK previously unavailable to them, while also giving UK fliers greater and much easier access to Etihad’s own expanding international network.”
Mike Rutter, Flybe Chief Commercial Officer said: “The agreement with Etihad is an exciting development for Flybe, and we are delighted to be working with such an excellent and well-respected airline. The codeshare is win-win for both airlines.
“For Flybe, it enables us to outreach to a new and different market, whilst at the same time further facilitating our leisure and business passengers.”
Flybe is the biggest regional airline in Europe and operates flights to 180 destinations across 13 countries. The airline's largest base is Southampton Airport with other bases at Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast City airports.
Etihad Airways codeshare strategy continues to develop with 19 other codeshare agreements now in place with American Airlines, Aer Arran, Bangkok Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cyprus Airways, JAT Airways, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International, Yemen Airways and UK-based airline, bmi.