Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding that will include codesharing, frequent flyer reciprocity and airport lounge access.
Both carriers hailed the agreement, which was announced today, as a “new era of cooperation” between Abu Dhabi and the Philippines.
The airlines hope their closer partnership will make them first choice for the more than 700,000 Filipinos who live in the United Arab Emirates and who account for much of the traffic on the Abu Dhabi to Manila route each year.
Etihad currently operates a twice-daily B777-300ER service between the two cities.
James Hogan, Etihad CEO, said: “Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines have a history of successful cooperation on the Abu Dhabi to Manila route.
“The MoU symbolises our shared commitment to growing the passenger and cargo market between the UAE and Philippines and fostering closer diplomatic, trade and cultural ties.
“Closer collaboration in our home markets and in the global arena will enhance the competitiveness and appeal of our offering and deliver an unrivalled customer proposition in the UAE, in the Philippines and abroad.”
The airlines also spoke about increasing the number of leisure travellers to the Philippines, in particular from the Middle East and Europe.
Ramon S Ang, PAL’s president and COO, said: “This relationship will go a long way in providing our combined customer base a much more enhanced set of travel options.
“This also comes at an opportune time for PAL, which is in the thick of a fleet modernisation and expansion program that will see the flag carrier pushing further not only into the Middle East but also on other parts of the globe using a modern fleet of aircraft.”