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Etihad leads Gulf 3 & THY on Europe codeshare; Qatar Airways closing

Etihad Airways has expanded its codeshare agreement with TAP Air Portugal from 27-Oct-2019. Under the new arrangements, TAP will carry Etihad's EY code on nine additional routes from Lisbon and on one additional route from Porto (to London Gatwick).

The partnership gives each access to the other's networks, although it is heavily skewed towards routes where TAP carries the EY code and both airlines have multiple codeshare partners on several of the partnership routes. Moreover, it could have greater power if Etihad served Lisbon and if TAP served Abu Dhabi.

After the unravelling of Etihad's equity strategy, codeshare remains an important tool for the airline to enhance its access to Europe. Among the four superconnectors (the Gulf three of Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad plus Turkish Airlines), Etihad has the most codeshare partners and destinations in Europe.

However, Qatar Airways has added the most codeshare destinations in Europe over the past five years, while also growing its own network in Europe. Indeed, Qatar Airways appears to be going further than the others in growing through a balance between own network, codeshare, equity stakes and global alliance membership.

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