Etihad Airways and Air Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a commercial cooperation agreement that will enhance travel services between the United Arab Emirates and Canada. While the two carriers currently have interline agreements in place for passenger and cargo services, Etihad Airways and Air Canada intend to offer customers through-checked bags, reciprocal codeshare services and frequent flyer benefits. The MoU provides for reciprocal codeshare services to Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub and select points in North America served by Air Canada via its Toronto hub. The two parties have commenced discussions to finalise details with the objective of introducing codeshare services in the third quarter 2013.
The agreement will also allow frequent flyer mileage accrual on codeshare flights by members of Etihad Guest and Aeroplan programmes and reciprocal premium lounge access at Toronto and Abu Dhabi airports for eligible passengers of both airlines. This announcement follows the recent decision by the Governments of the UAE and Canada to restore the previous visa regime which means Canadian nationals can once again obtain a free visa on arrival in the UAE. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is without doubt a significant development in the relationship between Etihad Airways and Air Canada and very much supports the aim to simplify travel between the United Arab Emirates and Canada.
“The benefits contained within the agreement give Etihad Airways and Air Canada passengers far greater choice, flexibility and convenience and will greatly enhance business and leisure travel between the UAE and Canada and feed passengers onto each other’s flight networks.”