Etihad Airways has signed a codeshare agreement with Aegean Airlines, Greece’s largest commercial airline, which will allow both airlines to benefit from each other’s networks.

The agreement will see Aegean Airlines commence a four times a week service between Athens and Abu Dhabi on 30 March 2014 and, subject to regulatory approvals, Etihad Airways will place its EY flight code on the new flight.

Aegean Airlines will operate its new Athens-Abu Dhabi service with a 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.

Beyond Athens, Etihad Airways will also place its flight code on Aegean-operated flights to 16 Greek destinations, and to a further 10 cities across Europe. In return, Aegean will offer new codeshare routes between Athens and seven destinations across the Gulf region, Australia and South Africa.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer, said: “We started daily Abu Dhabi-Athens flights in June 2009, and since then, we have experienced strong demand year on year. The new Aegean-operated Abu Dhabi-Athens flight will complement Etihad Airways’ existing daily operation between the two cities, enhancing access between Greece and the rest of our global network.

“Our customer proposition will also be further strengthened as we will soon be able to place our flight code on Aegean flights to popular Greek destinations,” he said.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, Aegean Airlines managing director, said by partnering with Etihad Airways, Aegean gains access to the Gulf region and South Africa as well increasing connection opportunities to Australia.

Aegean will also open up points on its network to Etihad Airways customers, and will enhance access to and from Greece via Abu Dhabi. “The combined proposition to business and leisure travellers has never been stronger. The award-winning service quality of both Aegean and Etihad Airways will guarantee the best possible travel experience.

“I am confident Greek tourism and businesses will benefit significantly from this development, as will Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and one of the world’s leading business and tourism destinations,” Gerogiannis said.

These destinations include Alexandroupolis, Chania, Chios, Heraklion, Ioannina, Kavala, Cephalonia, Corfu, Kos, Lemnos, Mykonos, Mytilene, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, and Thessaloniki.

The services will appeal not only to travellers from the UAE and wider Gulf region, but equally to travellers from further afield including the Greek diaspora in Australia and South Africa.

The Aegean-operated European destinations that will carry an EY flight number include: Vienna, Prague, Rome, Venice, Warsaw, Bucharest, Madrid, Tirana, Sofia and Larnaca.

Aegean Airlines plans to place its A3 flight code on Etihad Airways-operated flights from Abu Dhabi to Athens, Bahrain, Kuwait, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Photo Credit: Commuters stand in front of electronic check-in machines of Aegean airlines inside Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos airport. John Kolesidis / Reuters