ETIHAD AIRWAYS ACQUIRES MAJORITY STAKE IN ALITALIA’S MILLEMIGLIA FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM
• Greater opportunities for MilleMiglia’s 4.6 million members to earn and redeem miles
• Guests who register as new MilleMiglia members before February 28 will receive a double welcome bonus of 4,000 miles
• Acquisition marks Etihad Airways’ third investment in a frequent flyer program, with majority stakes also purchased in airberlin’s topbonus and Jet Airways’ JetPrivilege, alongside its full ownership of the Etihad Guest program
• Together, Etihad Guest, topbonus, JetPrivilege and MilleMiglia have a combined total of 14 million members worldwide
• Etihad Airways now operates frequent flyer programs for seven airlines around the world under its Global Loyalty Company (GLC) umbrella
Abu Dhabi / Rome, 3 February 2015 – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has acquired a 75 per cent stake in Alitalia Loyalty S.p.A, the owner and operator of MilleMiglia, Alitalia’s frequent flyer program, with Alitalia retaining the remaining 25 per cent stake.
Alitalia Loyalty will become part of Global Loyalty Company (GLC), a loyalty and lifestyle 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, airberlin’s 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. In addition, it will give GLC true global scale and a critical mass of valuable, high-spending consumers.
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 Italy’s 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 MilleMiglia’s 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.”
Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: "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.”
MilleMiglia is Italy’s largest frequent flyer program, with 4.6 million existing members and more than 20,000 new members a month. The acquisition of a 75 per cent stake has been valued at €112.5 million and is being financed through a cash investment by Etihad Airways.
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2014 carried 14.8 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to 111 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 110 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 70 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and nine Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Alitalia, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia, and is in the process of formalising an equity investment in Swiss-based Etihad Regional, operated by Darwin Airline. Etihad Airways, along with airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI, also participate in Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand that brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
Alitalia - Società Aerea Italiana (alitalia.com) is Italy’s largest airline and commenced operations on January 1, 2015 after acquiring the operational activities of Alitalia - Compagnia Aerea Italiana, now named CAI. CAI has a 51% controlling stake in Alitalia and the remaining 49% of shares are owned by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. As part of its 2014-2015 winter schedule, Alitalia flies to 83 destinations, including 26 Italian and 57 international destinations, with a total of 123 routes and 3,650 weekly flights. Alitalia boasts one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the world with an average age of seven years. It is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and is part of the Transatlantic Joint Venture alongside Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines. Alitalia, together with airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Airways, Etihad Regional operated by Darwin Airline, Jet Airways and NIKI, also participates in Etihad Airways Partners, which brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. Alitalia and Etihad Airways have been named Official Global Airline Carriers of Expo Milano 2015.