Etihad has announced a 560-million euro tie-up with Alitalia and is acquiring 75 percent of Alitalia’s frequent flyer program. Etihad plans to add two new non-airline partners into Alitalia’s program (as yet unnamed) to move the program from a frequent flyer program to a “lifestyle” program.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and chief executive, was asked at a press conference if the airline is planning to also buy a stake in Philippine Airlines or Malaysia Airlines.
Philippine Airlines has been struggling and is looking for an equity investor. Hogan said, “We’re not having any talks with Philippine Airlines.” Malaysia Airlines is also struggling and Hogan said that they have not spoken to that airline, but, “[If] it integrates with our network, has minimal overlap and we believe we can see synergies we?ll consider it.”
Bottom line: Etihad Airways owns portions of Jet Airways and airberlin’s frequent flyer programs and both programs are continuing under the same name.