SAS joins Etihad codeshare fleet to strengthen Scandinavian-Middle East ties

Etihad Airways said yesterday that it signed a codeshare partnership with Scandinavian Airlines SAS, which will allow its passengers greater connectivity in Nordic cities in Europe.

Powered by automated translation

There is no stopping Etihad Airways’ codeshare partnerships.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) yesterday became the Abu Dhabi carrier's 22nd codeshare partner in Europe and the 47th globally. The deal will allow Etihad passengers greater connectivity to cities in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

A codeshare allows airlines to publish and market a flight under their own brand.

Under the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, SAS will place its SK code on Etihad’s flights between Abu Dhabi and the seven European cities of Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Geneva and London Heathrow.

In return, Etihad will place its EY code on SAS flights from these seven cities, apart from Brussels, to SAS hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. Etihad will also be able connect its passengers on SAS flights to the cities of Billund and Ålesund in Denmark; Ålesund, Kristiansand, Trondheim and Stavanger in Norway; and Umeå, Sundsvall, and Östersund in Sweden.

Etihad’s growth strategy is focused on expanding its global route network by codeshares partnerships and forming equity alliances, in which it invests in carriers in strategically important regions.

It has minority stakes in Aer Lingus, Air Serbia, airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, India’s Jet Airways and Switzerland’s Darwin Airline. Etihad’s latest investment is in Alitalia, the ailing Italian airline. For SAS, which operates 1,000 flights daily to 127 destinations in Scandinavia, Europe, the US and Asia, the codeshare with Etihad is its 23rd globally and the third in the Middle East. SAS is a member of Star Alliance.

Etihad’s chief executive, James Hogan, has previously branded the model of international carrier alliances as “fractured”.

He said that Etihad had avoided entering into global alliances favoured by global carriers such as oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance. Mr Hogan has said he prefers growth via codeshare relationships and equity investments in other airlines.

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter