23. 06. 2011 - ETIHAD AIRWAYS AND CZECH AIRLINES SIGN LANDMARK STRATEGIC AGREEMENT

Prague, June 23rd, 2011

The flag carriers of the Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates – Czech Airlines (OK) and Etihad Airways (EY) – have signed a new codeshare agreement.
This will see Czech Airlines launch new direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Prague, and offer onward global connections through Etihad’s network. The connections include key cities in the Middle East such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Bahrain and Kuwait. Destinations on the Indian subcontinent and in Asia such as Colombo in Sri Lanka, Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta and Manila, plus Australian cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be easily reached. The agreement will also allow Etihad passengers to book flights straight through to Prague and beyond to other Czech Airlines serviced routes.

Philippe Moreels, Czech Airlines’ Vice-President of Economics stated: “Czech Airlines is an important player on the European market but on a global scale it is difficult to compete without strong partners. We are extremely satisfied that we have found a genuinely strong and respected partner in Etihad Airways. I believe that the announcement we are making today will serve both outbound and inbound passengers extremely well.  And it is merely the first step towards deeper and more intensive cooperation in the future.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer said: “As the world’s leading airline, this new strategic relationship which includes but is not limited to just a codeshare agreement, illustrates Etihad’s growing ambitions in the Central and Eastern Europe region. It opens up the beautiful city of Prague that we have been eager to offer our customers for such a long time, and we are certain these new connections and the seamless flight experience offered jointly by Etihad and Czech Airlines, will appeal to both business and leisure travellers alike.

Czech Airlines will inaugurate its first flight to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on 21 September 2011. The Airline will initially operate four weekly return flights to Abu Dhabi, departing from Prague every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday using Airbus A319 aircraft. Thanks to the strategic partnership and cooperation on code sharing, Czech Airlines passengers can then continue onwards with Etihad Airways with a single flight ticket to 34 destinations of which 14 will be an OK flight ticket. In total passengers can travel within the  Etihad’s network to almost 70 global destinations.

Similarly, Etihad’s guests can travel on Czech Airlines flights to Prague’s Ruzyně airport and on to other Czech Airlines’ destinations in central and Eastern Europe. Czech Airlines’ arrival and departure times at Abu Dhabi ensure passengers can carry on to their target destination in under three hours.  The same applies for Etihad transfer passengers headed for Prague from elsewhere on the Etihad network.

The decision of Etihad Airways, the world’s leading airline, to agree this new partnership with Czech Airlines allows the development of mutually beneficial traffic flows between Prague and Abu Dhabi, and beyond to our GCC, ISC, Asia Pacific, and Australia destinations,” concluded Mr Baumgartner.

Miroslav Dvořák, President of Czech Airlines, summed up: “Thanks to the perfect harmonisation of departure and arrival times at Abu Dhabi, destinations in the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia have never been as accessible from Prague as they are now.  And on top of that, cooperation with Etihad Airways brings Prague closer as a tourist centre, for tens of millions of passengers from across the Etihad network.

Both airlines will start selling tickets on 24 June 2011. Tickets can be purchased online via www.czechairlines.com. Alternatively, tickets can be booked through the Czech Airlines Contact Centre at 800 310 310 (Czech Republic number only) and +420 239 007 007, and through local Etihad sales contact centres. Both airlines will sell codeshare tickets as of mid-August 2011. The partnership between Czech Airlines and Etihad Airways allows both companies’ passengers to book and travel with just one ticket for their entire journey with a stopover in Abu Dhabi.

The Czech Airlines flight schedule to Abu Dhabi (Summer Season 2011):

 

Hana Hejsková, Czech Airlines Group
Communications Director and Press Spokesperson
Niall Doheny, Etihad Airways
Corporate Communications Manager

 

On the picture from the left to the right: Peter Baumgartner (Chief Commercial Officer Etihad Airways), Miroslav Dvořák (President of Czech Airlines and Chief Executive Officer of Prague Airport), Ali Saleh (Vice-President GDS Distribution & Alliances Etihad Airways), Jiří Marek (Vice-President for Sales & Marketing Czech Airlines).