(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) u Dhabi April 16 - The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) national airline Etihad Airways and Fiji Airways Wednesday announced a new interline agreement on reciprocal sales featuring 71 cities globally.The agreement involves reciprocal sales from and to 29 cities in Asia 17 in the Middle East 12 in Europe five each in Africa and North America and three in Australia to and from Fiji according to a WAM news agency report today.The agreement is valid with immediate effect and is the starting point of further negotiations between the two airlines WAM said.The Fijian Attorney-General and Minister for Tourism Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum hailed the agreement as an exciting new development for Fiji Airways and the entire Fijian economy."This opens up a whole new lucrative market for our tourism industry enabling us to attract affluent visitors from Abu Dhabi - Etihad's base - the other Gulf States the rest of the Middle East and beyond" he said. Fijian Government hopes this agreement will strengthen Fiji's national airline and national economy for long-term benefit of every Fijian the minister said.Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan said "We are happy to offer Fiji as an additional destination in our global network. The agreement also connects the outer South Pacific Islands to our network which creates more opportunities for our worldwide sales force." Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Stefan Pichler said "This partnership will help us to put Fiji on the map in countries where we had no presence before. Etihad Airways will help us to reach out for new customers and to diversify tourism streams for our country. It is definitely a major step for Fiji Airways." Etihad Airways joins Fiji Airways' list of codeshare or interline partners which includes American Airlines Cathay Pacific Qantas and Air New Zealand WAM added.