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Emirates and Etihad Team Up to Boost UAE Tourism

Etihad and Emirates Sign Interline Agreement (Photo: Emirates Airline)

The two major airlines of the United Arab Emirates have agreed to work towards a common goal: to boost tourism to the country. The Dubai-based carrier Emirates and the Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad have signed an agreement to expand their interline agreements to promote tourism in the UAE.

This will be accomplished by enabling one key feature that is going to be undoubtedly helpful to many tourists that are visiting the UAE, open jaw itineraries involving both major UAE airports.

Open Jaw UAE Tickets

In a couple of months, tourists will be able to fly into Dubai or Abu Dhabi and fly out of the other in a single ticket provided they’re flying on Emirates or Etihad. This allows for someone to explore multiple parts of the UAE without needing to travel back to the airport they came in at or have separate tickets. A tourist can fly into Abu Dhabi on Etihad, explore the Emirate for a couple of days, then go to Dubai for some more tourism, and then fly out of Dubai on Emirates.

Customers who are traveling into the UAE will also have the choice to travel from one city on both carriers’ networks and return to another point served by either airline.

This agreement officially kicks off in the summer with a focus on passengers coming from Europe and China.

Increasing Cooperation

It’s about time we see this level of cooperation between the two major airlines in the UAE. The two airports aren’t that far from each other, and both serve as major transit hubs for passengers. There are even rumors about the two airlines merging that circulate every so often.

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai command significant tourism numbers with each city offering different attractions. It’s no secret though that Dubai is the more popular though. Hopefully, with the ease of open-jaw tickets there will be a greater balancing of tourism.

Perhaps in the future, as the interline agreement grows we will see additional benefits added such as chauffeur service between the two Emirate cities that go beyond airport pick-ups and drop-offs. There is a lot of potential in offering transportation services between the two cities as part of this agreement. A significant portion of the infrastructure already exists. Both Emirates and Etihad offer chauffeur services for premium passengers and bus services between the two cities for economy passengers.

It shouldn’t be a significant lift to start offering services like hotel-to-hotel or bus station-to-bus station services for passengers with qualifying tickets. It solves the challenge of needing to drag luggage from one city to the other.

Hemal Gosai


  • Hemal Gosai

    Hemal took his first flight at four years old and has been an avgeek since then. When he isn't working as an analyst he's frequently found outside watching planes fly overhead or flying in them. His favorite plane is the 747-8i which Lufthansa thankfully flies to EWR allowing for some great spotting. He firmly believes that the best way to fly between JFK and BOS is via DFW and is always willing to go for that extra elite qualifying mile.

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