Etihad and Saudia have announced a new reciprocal loyalty agreement. This will allow frequent flyers in both schemes to earn and redeem miles on both networks, including tier points needed to achieve status. Let’s find out more about this new agreement.
Yesterday, Etihad announced that it is expanding its relationship with Saudi Arabian flag carrier Saudia. In addition to codeshares, frequent flyers on both carriers (Etihad Guest and ALFURSAN) can now earn and redeem miles on each other’s flights. This will offer more flexibility for travelers in terms of scheduling, open new routes, and the chance to try out new products.
In addition to just “earn and burn,” travelers will also have the chance to gain tier points and tier segments. This is usually a step reserved for close partnerships, allowing passengers to reach elite status levels when flying with partners too.
In a statement about the expanding partnership, Etihad Executive Director Guest Experience, Terry Daly, said,
“As the aviation industry begins to restart and guests return to the skies, this partnership strengthens the airlines’ commitment to growing inbound business and tourism in their respective markets. It complements Etihad’s existing codeshare agreement with SAUDIA and opens more destinations for Etihad Guest members to earn and spend their miles through travel.”
Saudi Arabia reopens
The announcement comes just a few days after Saudi Arabia reopened its border to most of the world. Barring 20 countries, travelers from everywhere else will be able to enter the Kingdom without quarantine if they are vaccinated. Notably, Saudi citizens have also been allowed to leave the country for the first time since March, provided they are fully vaccinated.
The coming weeks will likely see thousands of passengers from around the world returning to Saudi Arabia after over a year. Considering the traffic from both countries, this partnership comes at an opportune time.
The UAE was one of the first major travel destinations to reopen its border after the pandemic spread. While there are some restrictions to enter Abu Dhabi, neighboring Dubai is wide open for tourism and leisure. This has meant a modest recovery for tourist arrival, although far below previous levels.
As we inch closer to the summer, more countries are slowly opening their borders once again. The European Union yesterday cleared the way for non-EU travelers to return once again, a major boost for global tourism. Similarly, other regions are also waiving quarantines to lure in tourists.
For both Etihad and Saudia, the partnership will help further grow their passenger base and connectivity options. 110,000 passengers have already taken advantage of the codeshare agreement, which will only go up now. Currently, Saudia flight numbers are on 15 Etihad flights to the US, Europe, and Asia, while Etihad adds its number to domestic and Saudia’s Pakistan flights.
What do you think about the Etihad-Saudia partnership? Let us know in the comments!