MIAMI – Etihad Airways (EY) and Gulf Air (GF) have entered into a new Strategic Commercial Cooperation Agreement (SCCA) finalized to reinforce their partnership that will go beyond their hubs in Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Bahrein (BAH).

The SCCA, still awaiting the regulatory green light from both governments, is based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the two carriers signed in November 2018 that aimed to a broadened and deeper their commercial cooperation.

The strategic commercial agreement, to be applied in phases with the first starting in June 2021, aims to expand the scope of the codeshare agreement signed in March 2019 and enhance the number of combined destinations, 30 additional are expected, to Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Gulf Air A9C-FE Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Ervin Eslami/Airways

Enhanced joint operations

According to a GF press release, this new commercial cooperation will also improve the Carrier’s joint operations on the AHU-BAH routes, network connectivity at each partner hub.

The offering to the Frequent Flyer programs of the two carriers – Etihad Guest and Falconflyer – will also be enhanced with lounge access and accrued miles irrespective of the carrier being flown. At the same time, the Carriers will harmonize their policies in regard to baggage allowances and other ancillary services.

Moreover, the SCCA goes beyond commercial cooperation as it opens a way to possible MRO, training, and cargo opportunities.

Photo Gul Air – Capt. Waleed AlAlawi, CEO Gulf Air and Tony Douglas CEO Etihad Aviation Group sign SCCA

SCCA signature virtual ceremony

The SCCA was signed by Capt. Waleed AlAlawi, acting Gulf Air CEO, and Tony Douglas, Group CEO Etihad Aviation Group.

At the signing ceremony Capt. AlAlawi said, “our relationship with Etihad Airways has always been strong and today we are reaching a higher level of collaboration with many more opportunities on the horizon between the national carriers of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. This agreement will empower both of us to offer a more elevated experience to passengers and widen their travel options.”

On the same subject, Tony Douglas echoed, “this agreement reinforces the strength of the ongoing partnership between our two airlines. We look forward to exploring pragmatic ways in which the two carriers can increasingly work seamlessly between our two capitals, enhance benefits and customer experience for our most frequent travelers and further extend the reach of our joint networks beyond our hubs.”

Photo: Marco Macca

Featured Photo | Ervin Eslami