Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Etihad launches Etihad Regional – now fly from Cambridge to the world!

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Etihad announced the latest step in the quest for world domination by the Middle Eastern airlines last week. And this one is quite clever.

Etihad has announced that, subject to regulatory approval, it will acquire a one-third stake in Swiss airline Darwin. 

The airline will then be given a massive overhaul and will launch a swathe of new routes into small airports across Europe. It will be branded Etihad Regional and will look like this:

Etihad Regional

Etihad Regional will act as a feeder for its other partner airlines, primarily airberlin. That said, until the new Berlin airport opens and slots become available, it is having to focus initially on the airberlin hub in Dusseldorf.

It will also feed passengers into other airports that have direct Etihad services to Abu Dhabi, such as Geneva, Amsterdam and Paris.

From the UK, Etihad Regional will fly from Cambridge and London City Airport, in both cases to Dusseldorf only at first.

The full list of routes which will be active in the first half of 2014 is, according to Business Traveller:

Dusseldorf – Berlin / Cambridge / London City

Berlin – Poznan / Wroclaw

Geneva – Toulouse / Belgrade / Bordeaux / Marseille / Nantes / Verona

Zurich – Leipzig / Geneva / Florence / Turin / Linz / Graz / Verona / Lyon

Rome – Tirana / Zagreb

To be honest, I am not sure about this one. There is a lot of talk about the Etihad model of taking small equity stakes in Aer Lingus, airberlin, Air Serbia, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles. However, you could never seriously suggest that this comes close to the power you have as part of an alliance like Star or oneworld.

The most successful of these investments has been airberlin. Even then, though, there is a limit to how much value Etihad gets from feeding traffic into Dusseldorf and Berlin to connect to Abu Dhabi (and, of course, to connect again).

How many people in Cambridge would fly Cambridge – Dusseldorf – Abu Dhabi – Bangkok, for instance, rather than driving to Heathrow and flying direct?

The formal press release on Etihad Regional can be found here.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (April 2024)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (20)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Richie says:

    Our company use Darwin as we are based in Cambridge and have an office an hour north or Amsterdam. This has been a really good option for the Dutch guys coming over as it saves the need for a £100 taxi each way from city. Or £50 from stn .the increased cost is outweighed by the benefits when the company are paying. I’m flying with then next week on this route. And it was £200 return, easy jet would be 50. But add a bag, food, drink, taxis, (free parking at Cambridge) and there isn’t such a big difference. Only problem is we are not sure how long this would last as a friend of mine has been the only passenger on a number of occasions.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.