Etihad Salutes ACCC's Call on its Alliance with Virgin Australia

30th Oct 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently gave a green light for the codesharing agreement between Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia to continue for an extra five years. The decision was met with approval from the United Arab Emirates carrier.

The previous end-date to the Etihad Airways-Virgin Australia agreement was 25th February, 2016.

In a statement, Chief executive officer and Etihad President James Hogan said:

"Today's announcement by the ACC is great news for the partnership and for Australian travellers. In its first five years, the partnership between Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia has promoted vigorous competition in the Australian travel market, increasing choice for travellers, and has generated significant benefits and increased revenue for each airline through the alignment of our operations."

Etihad CEO also wrote:

"Our shared commitment to innovation and superior service delivery ensures that travellers who fly on either airline enjoy an unrivalled guest experience and access to a combined network of 89 codeshare destinations."

Hogan finished the statement, saying:

"Our intention over the next five years is to expand our global reach and to enhance the guest experience for our shared customers."

The deal has the Abu Dhabi-based airline and the Australian carrier offer codeshare services to 52 destinations in Australasia as well as 39 more international ones in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In addition, Etihad and Virgin partnership also includes purchasing and procurement, reciprocal benefits to frequent flyer members (such as access to each other's airport lounges), cabin crew secondments and more.

As of May last year, Etihad Airways has increased its share percentage in Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) from 19.9 per cent to 21.24 per cent. The UAE airline also has a seat on Virgin Australia's board.