(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, and JetBlue Airways, New York's Hometown Airline on Wednesday announced plans to begin codeshare operations and provide customers with enhanced travel options worldwide
The agreement, which is subject to government approval, will see Etihad Airways place its 'EY' code on JetBlue-operated flights, initially facilitating connections between the two airlines at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington's Dulles International Airport (IAD)
In the first stage of the partnership, Etihad Airways will codeshare on 40 JetBlue routes within the US. Further codeshare services are planned on JetBlue flights once Etihad Airways commences daily flights to Los Angeles from June 2014. Subject to US and foreign government approval, Etihad Airways also plans to codeshare on JetBlue flights between New York and select destinations in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Colombia. James Hogan, Etihad Airways' president and chief executive officer, said: "The US is a major and growing market for Etihad Airways and this partnership with JetBlue will enable us to offer our guests more options for travel within and beyond the US. In addition to New York and Washington, we also fly daily to Chicago. Just last week, we also announced a second daily flight between our hub, Abu Dhabi, and New York City, and we will start flights to Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth in June and December this year.
"Like JetBlue, Etihad Airways has quickly established itself as a premier brand built on excellent service and a high-quality product," said Robin Hayes, president of JetBlue. "We look forward to partnering more closely with the airline and affording our customers access to some of the world's most fascinating destinations.
From its US gateways of Chicago, New York and Washington DC, Etihad Airways offers connections through its Abu Dhabi hub to dozens of destinations across the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Sub-Continent, Asia and Australia
Etihad Airways is also one of the world's best-regarded airlines, with a focus on service and the best-in-class product for all travellers, and was recently voted the World's Leading Airline, for the fifth consecutive year, at the World Travel Awards 2013. The airline's Diamond First Class has its own in-flight Chef; Pearl Business Class offers a specially-trained Food and Beverage Manager; and a Flying Nanny service was recently introduced to assist families travelling in all three cabins
Customers transferring in New York or Washington to JetBlue will enjoy the award-winning airline's signature in-flight experience with unlimited free snacks and non-alcoholic drinks plus the most legroom in economy class (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) and a variety of seatback TV and entertainment options. Later this year, JetBlue will debut Mint, the carrier's new premium offering, featuring the longest lie-flat bed in domestic business class and the only private suites on the New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco routes