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El Al and Etihad announce codeshare flights and reciprocal benefits

July 01, 2021
3 min read
El Al Etihad
El Al and Etihad announce codeshare flights and reciprocal benefits
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Here's some news you might not have expected a few years back.

Israeli flag carrier El Al and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad launched a new strategic pact today. It includes a codeshare agreement and new reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for El Al Matmid and Etihad Guest members.

This news comes less than a year after Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced a landmark deal to establish diplomatic relations.

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El Al and Etihad launch partnership

Starting July 18, 2021 El Al will add its "LY" code and start selling seats on Etihad's twice-weekly flights between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Then, on Aug. 1, the partnership will expand to include destinations in Australia, Bahrain, India, Korea, the Philippines and Seychelles. In the next phase, the airlines hope to expand the partnership to 14 more destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and U.S. by adding Etihad's "EY" code to El Al flights.

Like any codeshare agreement, this partnership will offer passengers greater choice and make connections more seamless.

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Related: Etihad just made the first-ever known airline flight from the United Arab Emirates to Israel

But that's not all.

El Al and Etihad plan to also establish a reciprocal loyalty agreement. Members will be able to earn and redeem miles across both airlines through the EL AL Matmid and Etihad Guest programs. While details haven't been revealed yet, there will likely also be reciprocal elite benefits.

This part of the news is especially exciting for points and miles enthusiasts. El Al's Matmid program doesn't partner with any of the major transferable points programs and isn't all that valuable to begin with. However, the Etihad Guest program partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles and Citi ThankYou Rewards and offers attractive redemption rates, especially on partners. This means that it will be easier to redeem your flexible points on El Al flights.

Related: How to get to Israel using points and miles

El Al's CEO Avigal Soreq explained, “This is the first commercial partnership that EL AL has established following the Abrahamic Accords. This is an important milestone as this codeshare will bring growing benefits to our passengers and to our respective airlines and countries. EL AL and Etihad teams have a common goal in this partnership, and we look forward to see it grow in the future."

Bottom line

Overall, this announcement is great news for travelers heading to the Middle East. Both airlines significantly scaled back their route networks due to the pandemic, so travelers will benefit from the joint network. Israel-bound travelers might appreciate Etihad's more premium inflight products and will have more ways to redeem points and miles for El Al flights.

Featured image by Shutterstock
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
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  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.