Etihad A340-500Etihad Airways’ focus on the Japanese market continues this week, as a codeshare with ANA comes into service. Just weeks before the commencement of services to Tokyo, the ANA codeshare offers Etihad Airways customers from all over the world the opportunity to fly to two major Japanese destinations, with a third to follow at the end of this month.

The new deal will also give air travellers in Japan greater and easier access to the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s network of 60 destinations.

The codeshare sees ANA place its two-letter ‘NH’ code on the four weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Nagoya. In turn, Etihad’s ‘EY’ code is currently used on ANA operated flights between Nagoya and both Sapporo and Fukuoka.

As Etihad launches its services to Narita at the end of this month, the codeshare will be extended with ‘NH’ code on the Abu Dhabi Narita service and ‘EY’ code on domestic services operated by ANA between Narita and Osaka Itami.

The increased cooperation between the two airlines will also encompass both airlines frequent flyer programs. From March, members of both ANA Mileage Club and the Etihad Guest program will be able to earn and redeem miles on flights across both airline networks.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “2010 is a big year for Etihad in Japan. As well as launching services to Nagoya in February and Narita in March, this codeshare agreement with ANA will enable us to offer international connections to a broader local market – as we establish ourselves among Japanese travellers.

“We look forward to offering passengers from Europe, Africa and the Middle East a number of destinations within the Japanese market to visit for business or leisure, and expect that this route will perform strongly.”

Etihad Airways has 20 other codeshare agreements in place. These include American Airlines, Aer Arran, Alitalia, Bangkok Airways, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Cyprus Airways, flybe, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Olympic Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International and Yemen Airways.