Alliance membership not in Etihad's plans: Hogan

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Etihad Airways is not intending to pursue membership of one of the global alliances in the foreseeable future, preferring to secure partnerships through codeshares for the time being.

It is already a member of the loose Arabesk co-operative group of Middle Eastern carriers and has agreed codeshare and co-operation pacts with several operators – the latest being Malaysia Airlines.

But speaking to ATI at the IATA annual general meeting in Istanbul, Etihad Airways chief executive James Hogan said the carrier was “not actively chasing” alliance membership.

“We have the codeshares and we’re developing strong bilaterals,” he says, but adds that Etihad is considering alliance membership only as a possibility “at some time in the future” and only if it could be mutually beneficial.

Hogan had included alliance membership as part of the business strategy at Gulf Air during his time at the helm of the carrier, which preceded his appointment to lead Etihad.

Rival carrier Emirates, based in nearby Dubai, has notably avoided being allied to any of the three main global airline groups.