Etihad to explore partner opportunities in Brazil

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Etihad Airways is working on opportunities in the Brazilian market as the Middle East carrier wants to build on the launch of its first South American destination later this year.

The carrier will launch three-weekly service to Sao Paulo with Airbus A340 from the start of June. Speaking to Flightglobal Pro, president and chief executive James Hogan says Etihad is talking to Brazilian carriers about a codeshare agreement. "We are in talks with a couple of Brazilian airlines at the moment," he says.

Hogan says it is in the hands of its alliance team. "It's early discussions but we see what unfolds. It is out of my control, always working with another party obviously in launching South America, we will be delighted to work with a South American carrier, let's wait and see."

In 2012, Etihad signed 12 new agreements with European, Middle East and Asian carriers but is looking to tap the Americas.

Etihad already codeshares with American Airlines and serves Chicago, New York in the USA. It will add Washington as a new destination later this month. The Abu-Dhabi carrier also serves Toronto in Canada.