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Etihad Airways Acquires 75% Stake in Alitalia Loyalty

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Etihad Airways has acquired a 75% stake in Alitalia Loyalty S.p.A, the owner and operator of MilleMiglia, Alitalias frequent flyer program. Alitalia will retain the remaining 25% stake.

Alitalia Loyalty will become part of Global Loyalty Company (GLC), a loyalty company that allows Etihad Airways and its partners to target the global loyalty market more effectively, whilst driving technology and back office synergies.

GLC also consists of Etihad Airways Etihad Guest, airberlins topbonus and Jet Airways JetPrivilege programs. Together, Etihad Guest, topbonus, JetPrivilege and MilleMiglia have a combined total of 14 million members worldwide.

The addition of MilleMiglia will lead to enhanced opportunities for members to collect and redeem their miles around the world.

To celebrate this milestone, guests registering to join MilleMiglia before 28 February 2015 will receive a double welcome bonus (2,000 + 2,000 miles).

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said, Etihad Airways majority stake in Alitalia Loyalty is a fundamental part of our investment in Alitalia and will position Global Loyalty Company as a leading player in Italys loyalty market. The loyalty program sector is a faster growing and higher margin business than the airline industry. This approach allows both Etihad Airways and Alitalia to reap greater rewards together, with opportunities to generate sustained profits from our loyalty programs. Importantly, this investment also ensures MilleMiglias members will benefit from exciting long-term plans to develop Global Loyalty Company into a broader, multi-partner loyalty program across the core markets of Italy, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates.

MilleMiglia is Italys largest frequent flyer program, with 4.6 million existing members and more than 20,000 new members a month. The acquisition of a 75% stake has been valued at 112.5 million and is being financed through a cash investment by Etihad Airways.

Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, added, "This development will greatly enhance synergies between the two programs and ensure members are provided with even more opportunities to earn miles and redeem them for flights, upgrades and other benefits, while opportunities for MilleMiglia members to collect and redeem their miles through any SkyTeam member airline will be kept unchanged. The investment is part of the recapitalisation and restructuring of Alitalia, which provides the airline with a sound financial platform for its future growth, and also reinforces our commitment to providing our passengers with the best possible service. 

Etihad Airways, Alitalia, FFP, Loyalty, Stake

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