Aerolineas Argentinas is hoping a codeshare agreement with Gulf carrier Etihad Airways will help strengthen its presence in the fast-growing Asian market.
The Argentinian carrier has partnered with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad to codeshare on its flights from Buenos Aires to Rome and Madrid and on connecting flights across the Gulf carrier’s network of more than 100 destinations.
Also in the pipeline is the ability for members of the airlines’ loyalty programs to earn and redeem points on each other flights.
“This is a very good opportunity to consolidate and increase our offer to one of the most important hubs in the Middle East,’’ Aerolineas chief commercial officer Diego Garcia said in a statement. “It also allows us to improve our load factors, optimise the use of the fleet and strengthen the image of Aerolíneas Argentinas in the Asian market.
“We hope that this agreement will also be the gateway for many tourists to visit some of the most attractive landmarks in our country.”
The agreement gives Etihad customers access to Bueno Aires and nine other Argentinian destinations: Córdoba, Mendoza, Rosario, Iguazú , Salta, Mar del Plata, Bariloche , Trelew and Ushuaia.
The Gulf carrier axed its service to South America earlier this year when it dropped flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The carrier subsequently reported a $US1.87 billion net loss and announced it would no longer support loss-making investments in Alitalia and airberlin.
Read: Airline chiefs generally upbeat as Etihad posts massive $US1.87bn loss.
The 2016 loss included a $US1.06 billion charge from writing down the value of aircraft and a further $US808 million hit its investments in the beleaguered European carriers, both of which are now in administration.
The downturn came as Middle Eastern carriers grappled with increased competition, a downturn in oil prices that affected their home markets and the impact of terrorism on Europe.