The CEOs of 6 airlines in the Etihad Airways Partners group met in Rome on 21 September to identify and progress collaborative initiatives designed to cut the carriers’ costs, increase their revenues and expand sustainable choice for their customers.
The partnership summit is being chaired by James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Airways, and brings together the leaders of Alitalia, the airberlin Group, Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional, and the chief officers of Etihad Airways and Alitalia.
The meeting followed the conclusion last week of a collective financing agreement, through which US$700 million was raised on the international markets for use by Etihad Airways, Etihad Airport Services, airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Air Serbia and Air Seychelles.
“The airline industry is global, not local,” Mr Hogan said. “Individually, we are small participants in the global market. But collectively, our partnership serves 330 destinations, flies almost 700 aircraft and carries over 100 million passengers each year, making us the world’s seventh largest grouping of airlines. We leverage the buying power, resources, relationships and influence of our participating airlines to achieve the most cost-effective and customer-friendly outcomes.”
In addition to codesharing and joint commercial activities, the members of Etihad Airways Partners collaborate through resource sharing, adoption of best practice and joint procurement of assets, services and supplies.
Beyond last week’s joint financing agreement, the airlines also collaborate on the sourcing of IT platforms, aircraft and insurance, and share resources including pilot and cabin crew training.
Etihad Airways Group has established the Global Loyalty Company, which owns the Etihad Guest programme and majority stakes in airberlin’s topbonus, Alitalia’s MilleMiglia and the Jet Privilege programme of Jet Airways.
Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional have all adopted the Etihad Guest programme, while NIKI uses topbonus.
Alitalia and airberlin are also introducing the same Business Class service and product as Etihad Airways, initially on long haul aircraft, and many more opportunities for collaboration are being explored by all of the Etihad Airways Partners airlines for both passenger and air cargo services.