Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways has unveiled a new airline alliance called Etihad Airways Partners (EAP). The alliance is initially made-up of six airlines in which the Gulf behemoth has equity stakes, though it claims to offer partnership opportunities for any airline wishing to join, even if it is part of any existing alliance such as airberlin which is a oneworld member. The six initial members of the partnership are airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways, Darwin Airline, and Etihad Airways.The new brand aims to offer customers a more unified network, synchronised schedules and uniform frequent flyer benefits. Airlines which are part of the EAP will collaborate and synergise operations such as shared sales teams, and joint procurement of services and supplies, and shared pilot and cabin crew training at Etihad’s facilities in Abu Dhabi.
Etihad has brought in Bruno Matheu, a 30 year airline industry veteran who used to head all long distance operations for Air France as the new Chief Operating officer of the EAP. Etihad, airberlin and Air France-KLM entered in to a code-shares agreement in 2012.