Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a codeshare agreement with Hainan Airlines of China. It is the Abu Dhabi-based airline's first codeshare with a Chinese carrier and its 35th with world airlines.
Subject to regulatory approvals, from 10 January 2012, Hainan Airline's will place its 'HU' code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and the airline's three gateway cities in China: Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. The arrangement will extend to Etihad Airways flights beyond Abu Dhabi to Khartoum International Airport in Sudan.
The Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways James Hogan said the codeshare with Hainan Airlines would help strengthen Etihad's position in the competitive Chinese market.
"Working with a major player like Hainan Airlines will increase Chinese passenger numbers on our China-Abu Dhabi services and beyond to popular destinations in Africa, Middle East and Europe.
"We look forward to expanding the relationship to include more destinations over time."
The President of Hainan Airlines Mr Tie Li said: "The codeshare cooperation with Etihad Airways will reinforce Hainan Airlines' development in the Middle East and Africa region. We have great expectations of the partnership, and believe that through mutual creativity, we will be able to bring synergy and hopefully value to our customers."
The reciprocal agreement will integrate the Etihad Guest and Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club loyalty programs, enabling travelers to earn miles on each other's flights.
The new codeshare services will go on sale from 10 January 2012, for travel from that date for Beijing and Chengdu flights, and from 1 March 2012 for Shanghai.
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2010 carried more than seven million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 86 cargo and passenger destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
About Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines began operations on May 2, 1993 in Hainan Province, the largest special economy zone in China. It is the leading business enterprise in the air transportation division of the HNA Group. It has a fleet mainly comprised of Boeing 737, 767 and Airbus A330 and 340 for passenger and cargo transportation. In addition to its main hub in Haikou, Hainan Airlines has established eight bases in Beijing, Xi'an, Taiyuan, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Dalian and Shenzhen, as well as an extensive network across China connecting Asia, Europe, America, Oceania and Africa. Skytrax named Hainan Airlines the Best Airline in China in 2008 and 2010 and granted it coveted 5-star airline status in 2011.