Etihad and Virgin Australia extend alliance

4 Dec 2015 by GrahamSmith

Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia have extended their alliance for a further five years, after being granted approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Both carriers currently cooperate on the Australia–Abu Dhabi route, and the decision will allow them to continue to do so until December 30, 2020.

The airlines currently codeshare on flights to 38 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, as well as a further 52 destinations in Australia and Asia.

Etihad also holds a 25.1 per cent stake in Virgin Australia.

James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO, welcomed the ACCC’s ruling.

He said: "In the first five years of the alliance, we've shaken up the competitive landscape by delivering more destinations, more capacity and an unrivalled guest experience through new, state-of-the-art aircraft and major investments in product and service innovations.

"Over the next five years, our focus will be on new areas of commercial cooperation with Virgin Australia and opportunities for increased public benefit."

The ACCC noted that the partnership is important to foster competition in the Australian market, as it gives Virgin Australia the means to effectively compete with fellow Australian carrier Qantas, which enjoys close ties with Gulf carrier Emirates.

As per the agreement, Etihad and Virgin will cooperate on pricing as well as the scheduling of their services. However, it will not encompass revenue sharing.,

Clement Huang

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