ETIHAD LAUNCHES AMSTERDAM FLIGHTS
Travelers from Nairobi / Kenya, presently the only East Africa destination Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline is serving, now have the added option when travelling to Amsterdam to route via the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, as the airline launched flights to the Netherlands last weekend. The daily flights on Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which feature 22 business and 240 economy seats, are codeshared with KLM.
A few weeks ago did Etihad sign a comprehensive MoU and code share agreement with Kenya Airways, an almost natural development considering that KQ’s second largest shareholder KLM equally has developed strong commercial ties with Etihad since late 2012. While no member of any alliance, as yet, Etihad has developed their own concept of strategic partnerships, with shareholdings in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Air Lingus and Virgin Australia, and a similar deal is currently awaiting finalization with India’s Jet Airways.
There is growing speculation that Etihad may also take a significant shareholding in KLM/Air France, itself a lead member in the world’s second largest airline alliance SkyTeam, leaving space for yet more speculation if Etihad may eventually join that alliance or else opt to stick to their proven model of partnerships through shareholdings and commercial code share agreements.
Meanwhile has Etihad over the weekend also completed the takeover of the Abu Dhabi Airport Services, the Abu Dhabi Inflight Catering and the Abu Dhabi Cargo Company to have full control over the quality of services these previously state owned companies offer and which will in the future add significant revenue streams to the Etihad Group.