Etihad Airways has announced it will establish air links between the UAE and the Republic of Guinea, in West Africa, by extending its existing codeshare agreement with Royal Air Maroc, the national airline of Morocco.

The expanded agreement, which comes into effect on December 12, will allow passengers to travel between Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea, with Etihad Airways between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca in Morocco, and to / from Guinea via Royal Air Maroc’s non-stop service between Casablanca and Conakry twice a week.

The enhanced air links between the two capital cities of Abu Dhabi and Conakry also support recent initiatives and the growing collaboration between the UAE and the Republic of Guinea that are expected to deliver significant benefits to both economies in the future.

The Republic of Guinea is of growing interest to the international business community due to its extensive mineral resources, including a third of the world’s known bauxite reserves (the raw material of aluminium), of which it is the world’s largest exporter. It also has large high grade iron ore deposits, as well as diamond and gold resources.

Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment and development company, has recently signed an agreement for the long-term supply of bauxite to the UAE which will result in a significant contribution of US$500 million to the Guinean economy, create many new jobs for Guinean nationals, and secure the provision of a high-grade strategic resource for the growing UAE aluminum industry, now the world’s fifth largest aluminum producer.

Under the existing codeshare agreement with Royal Air Maroc, Etihad Airways passengers can fly from Abu Dhabi to Casablanca, and onwards to 11 popular destinations in North and West Africa, including Agadir, Fez, Oujda, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh and Tangier in Morroco, and Nouakchott in Mauritania, Dakar in Senegal, Bamako in Mali, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and Conakry in Guinea.

In return, Royal Air Maroc offers travellers access to Etihad Airways services beyond Abu Dhabi to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Dubai .

The codeshare agreement also allows reciprocity across their respective frequent flyer programs, Safar Flyer and Etihad Guest, allowing members to earn and redeem air miles on each other’s flights.