Mideast Peace: Etihad And El Al Will Codeshare, Introduce Frequent Flyer Partnership

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will start direct flights from the United Arab Emirates to Tel Aviv on March 31, 2021. It has entered into a new agreement with Israel’s El Al for codesharing and a frequent flyer partnership.

This is monumental. Not only will this Arab state airline fly non-stop to Israel, it will all Israel’s flag carrier to put its own code on Etihad flights. That means, effectively, that certain Etihad flights – which all begin with a prayer from the Quran – will also be El Al flights.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the CEOs of Etihad and El Al over Zoom, with details of the partnership still to be worked out.

Etihad will benefit connecting Israeli passengers through its Abu Dhabi hub to destinations throughout the world, while El Al customers gain the ability to credit miles to the (much) more lucrative Etihad Guest. And once we’re past the current unpleasantness fronted in the U.S. by Rudy Giuliani (how does he still have a law license?), perhaps history will look kindly on U.S. foreign policy achievements in the Middle East during President Trump’s term in office.

(HT: @Dude2626)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It will be very sad if the new administration returns to the previous approach to Middle East policy which gave us nothing but conflict. For all the negatives of the past 4 years, progress on Middle East peace has been a bright spot.

  2. According to research by Texas law professor Steve Vladeck, Giuliani isn’t in good standing with the NY bar due to nonpayment of dues. (Saw this on Twitter a few days ago.)

  3. Heard Dennis Ross, the disastrous Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and during the Obama Administration and failed Middle East Envoy to Bill Clinton on NPR (maybe it was BBC?) this morning berating Pompeo for visiting a Jewish Community in the West Bank and Trump Administration Middle East policy more generally, and ignoring the peace and unity that only seemed to break out during the brief interregnum when he and others of the old guard Diplomatic Corps were out of power. Will be glad to see the back of Trump generally, but won’t be happy that we can be assured that those like Ross, Power, Susan Rice, John Kerry, will now be back and in influence, and Trump’s peace — which they all said could never, ever happen — is bad for their personal brands and disproves their world views. I’m already having some buyer’s remorse.

  4. This isn’t “Mideast Peace”.

    The UAE and Israel are on the same side of: nuclear proliferation; weapons deals; surveillance state technology; attacking Iran; and having never been at war with each other.

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