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Emirates strengthens ties with US while Etihad looks east

Etihad and China Southern Airlines will explore ways to work more closely together Etihad
Etihad and China Southern Airlines will explore ways to work more closely together
  • Dubai carrier activates codeshare with United Airlines
  • Abu Dhabi airline signs deal with China Southern Airlines
  • Emirates flies from its hub to 12 US cities

Dubai airline Emirates has strengthened its relations with the US as its Abu Dhabi counterpart Etihad Airways increased its presence in the east.

Emirates and United Airlines have activated their codeshare partnership allowing customers of the Dubai carrier to fly to Chicago, Houston or San Francisco and connect to the network of domestic flights operated by the American airline.

The agreement gives Emirates passengers access to more than 150 US cities.

Emirates customers in the US planning trips to Dubai and beyond can connect via the three cities.

Emirates currently offers services between its hub in Dubai and 12 US cities, as well as five points across Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Fellow UAE carrier Etihad Airways is focused east, after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Southern Airlines.

The move will “explore extending global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ hubs”, according to a statement.

Etihad launched services to China Southern’s home hub at Guangzhou Baiyuan International Airport in October 2022.

The MoU also contains plans for mutual procurement opportunities across ground handling, cargo handling, warehousing, catering and maintenance, repair and overhaul in either Guangzhou, Beijing or Abu Dhabi.

Emirates airlineEmirates
Emirates flights to Chicago, Houston and San Francisco can connect to the network of domestic flights operated by United Airlines. Picture: Emirates

Arik De, chief revenue officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad looks forward to working with China Southern Airlines to explore comprehensive and pragmatic ways in which the two carriers can work more closely together.

“We aim to drive greater value through our unique strengths at Beijing Daxing International Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun and further extend the reach of our joint network.”

China lifted its coronavirus-related travel restrictions in January, allowing Chinese tourists to travel abroad, without having to quarantine upon their return.

Bookings for overseas travel during Chinese New Year soared by 540 percent compared with the same period in 2022, according to data from the Chinese travel site