DUBAI, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Etihad Airways of United Arab Emirates' (UAE) and China Southern Airlines on Thursday announced a new codeshare agreement, which will allow passengers access to certain routes involving the two countries.
Under the codeshare partnership, China Southern Airlines will put its "CZ" code on Etihad Airways' daily services between the major Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu and Abu Dhabi, according to an e-mailed statement by the two airlines.
The new agreement will allow passengers of China Southern Airlines to book codeshare flights to and from Abu Dhabi, and connect to Etihad's network for over 100 destinations worldwide.
Mohammad Al-Bulooki, Etihad's executive vice president of commercial, hailed the codeshare partnership as "a significant milestone" in its network developing, especially in the Chinese market.
The move increased Etihad's codeshare agreements to 53, said the airlines.
"By partnering with China Southern Airlines, each airline can use its strengths to benefit the other and offer more choice with enhanced connectivity to all guests," said Al-Bulooki.
Zhang Lin, China Southern Airlines' senior management on international cooperation, also praised the establishment of the new partnership.
"China Southern Airlines will be able to extend our services globally - via Etihad Airways' Abu Dhabi hub to the Middle East, Africa and Europe," Zhang Lin said.
Both Etihad Airways and China Southern Airlines are planning to implement a reciprocal loyalty partnership in the near future to enable their guests to earn and redeem miles on each other's flights network.
Bilateral trade between the Gulf state and China hit 60 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2016, up from 54.8 billion dollars in 2015, said Hani Rashid Al-Hamli, secretary-general of the Dubai Economic Council.
China has more than 4200 companies operating in the UAE with 8 billion U.S. dollars in direct investment in the Gulf nation mainly in the UAE construction and trade sectors, Al-Hamli added.