EL AL Israel Airlines, the national airline of Israel, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, are set to explore deeper cooperation following the signing of a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The wide-ranging MOU covers scope to introduce joint codeshare services between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, as well as on the global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ hubs.
The MOU also contains plans for greater commercial cooperation in the fields of cargo, engineering, loyalty, destination management and the optimal use of pilot and cabin crew training facilities.
The MOU was signed ‘virtually’ by Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, and Gonen Usishkin, Chief Executive Officer of EL AL Israel Airlines.
MOU scope includes provision for:
• Joint codeshare services
• Plans to offer reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ on frequent flyer programmes
• Cooperation in the fields of Engineering and Cargo services in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv
Tony Douglas said: “Following EL AL’s historic flight to Abu Dhabi, the first ever flight between Israel and the UAE, this MOU is the foundation of what we envision will be a strong ongoing relationship between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. We look forward to examining ways in which the two flag carriers – Etihad and EL AL – can work more closely together to improve business operations and enhance the experience for our guests.
Gonen Usishkin said: “Following the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, we have been provided a great opportunity to examine the possibility of cooperation with Etihad Airways. This MOU is only the start and we believe that together, the two flag carriers will be able to provide our mutual customers with the best possible product and service. Already, the common goals we have outlined speak for the success of our future cooperation."