Two UAE airlines, one ticket: How to book Emirates-Etihad flights under new agreement

When does the new initiative begin? Does it apply to existing bookings? All you need to know


Sahim Salim

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Published: Fri 5 May 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 5 May 2023, 10:48 PM

A landmark agreement signed between the UAE’s two main airlines — Emirates and Etihad — will give travellers more time to explore the country. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two carriers expands their interline agreement to allow travellers to add more stops within the UAE in their itineraries.

In a statement shared with Khaleej Times, an Emirates spokesperson said: “The MoU signed at ATM (Arabian Travel Market) allows Emirates and Etihad to build on an existing interline agreement to create new itineraries that will benefit inbound UAE traffic, tourism and economics.”

The spokesperson shared additional details about the agreement, when it will go into effect and how tickets can be booked. Here is all you need to know:

What is this new agreement all about?

Etihad described the agreement as “two airlines, one ticket (and an) endless adventure” in a Twitter post. “Fly into Abu Dhabi or Dubai with a seamless return from the other airport with a single ticket.”

Emirates tweeted that the agreement enables visitors to “experience more than one UAE destination in a single itinerary”.

In a nutshell, customers of each airline can purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi and then fly out from the other. This will allow travellers can explore the UAE more easily, without having to take a return flight from the same airport they arrived in. It helps them save time that would otherwise be needed to get back to their port of arrival to fly out of the UAE.

It essentially offers travellers the flexibility of one-stop ticketing for their full journey and “convenient baggage check-in”, according to Emirates.

How does it work?

In its statement, the Emirates spokesperson gave an example: “Travellers will be able to book an itinerary where they fly in to Abu Dhabi on Etihad from East Asia, enjoy their time in the UAE, and then return home via Dubai flying on Emirates.”

Will this apply to multi-city flights?

Yes. Tourists can travel from one city on either carrier’s networks, and return to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad.

When will the agreement go into effect? Will it apply to existing bookings?

The interline is set to start this summer. No date has been specified. “Existing bookings on each airline continue to be subject to current terms and conditions,” the Emirates spokesperson said.

Is the agreement available for all destinations?

In the initial stages of the expanded interline, each carrier will focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from “select points in Europe and China”.

How and where can the tickets be booked?

Travellers can book their journeys from Emirates or Etihad websites; online travel agencies; and via tour operators. “With the MoU in place, both airlines will be working over the coming months to enable customers to book their itineraries to explore the UAE via both airline’s websites and travel agents,” the Emirates spokesperson explained.


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