Etihad Quietly Drops Multiple Partner Airlines

Etihad Airways 787 flying over Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways recently ended its partnerships with Air Seychelles, Czech Airlines and GOL. Photo: Etihad.

Etihad Guest has quietly ended its partnerships with Czech Airlines and Brazil’s GOL Airlines. It comes just a month after Etihad Airways also ended its partnership with Air Seychelles.

Etihad Guest members are no longer able to earn or redeem miles with any of these airlines.

But in some good news, Etihad Airways has recently announced a new partnership with Israel’s flag carrier El Al following the normalisation of relations between Israel & the United Arab Emirates. This will include reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, meaning it will soon be possible to earn and redeem Etihad Guest miles for El Al flights.

Etihad Guest miles can be acquired in Australia by transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards or by buying Etihad miles. They can now be redeemed for travel on 22 airlines including Virgin Australia (and soon to be 23 airlines, once El Al redemptions come online):

Etihad Guest partner airlines as of July 2021
Etihad Guest partner airlines as of July 2021.

Etihad ends partnerships with Czech Airlines & GOL

Etihad recently removed both Czech Airlines and GOL Linhas Aereas from the list of airlines on its website that can be booked using Etihad Guest miles. But we couldn’t find any announcement about this and it does not appear that notice was given about these changes – the airlines were simply removed from the website.

GOL Airlines 737
Etihad has ended its partnership with GOL Airlines.

If you check the list of partner airlines available to earn Etihad Guest miles on the Etihad website, both Czech Airlines and GOL are still there. But notices on that page state:

Etihad Guest Members can earn miles on Czech Airlines for travel until 31 January 2021 and can retroactively claim missing miles until 31 July 2021.

And…

Etihad Guest Members can earn miles GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A for travel until 31 January 2021 and can retroactively claim missing miles until 31 July 2021.

It’s a shame to lose the option to redeem Etihad Guest miles with both of these airlines as they previously offered quite good value redemptions. In fact, I have previously redeemed Etihad miles to fly with both airlines. Czech Airlines long-haul awards between Seoul and Prague were particularly good value, as were GOL Airlines short-haul flights within Brazil.

Czech Airlines was declared bankrupt in March 2021 but continues to operate limited flights throughout its bankruptcy proceedings.

Etihad has already ended Air Seychelles partnership

It comes after Etihad ended its relationship with another partner airline, Air Seychelles, in May 2021. (At least, on that occasion, the news was publicised.)

This happened after Etihad Airways gave up its stake in Air Seychelles, which it previously owned a 40% share of.

Etihad announces strategic cooperation with El Al

Meanwhile, Etihad and El Al will soon begin codesharing on some of each others’ flights and establish a reciprocal loyalty agreement.

El Al planes
Etihad is now a partner of El Al.

“Members of the Etihad Guest and Matmid programmes will be able to earn and redeem miles on flights across both carriers’ networks,” an Etihad Airways statement said.

El Al redemptions using Etihad Guest miles are not yet available, but will be rolled out in due course.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

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