12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Etihad Airways has officially acquired a 75 per cent stake in Alitalia Loyalty, which operates the airline's frequent flyer programme MilleMiglia.
The move marks the Gulf carrier's third investment in a frequent flyer programme, joining its majority stakes in Air Berlin's Topbonus and Jet Airways' Jet Privilege schemes.
Alitalia will retain the remaining 25 per cent stake.
Etihad's 49 per cent stake in Alitalia was approved by the European Commission in November.
MilleMiglia is Italy’s largest airline loyalty programme, with 4.6 million existing members and more than 20,000 new members each month.
It will now become part of Global Loyalty Company (GLC), a loyalty group run by Etihad and its partners. GLC also oversees the Etihad Guest, Topbonus and Jet Privilege programmes.
James Hogan, Etihad president and CEO, 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."
To celebrate the acquisition, those who register to join MilleMiglia before February 28 will receive a double welcome bonus of a total 4,000 miles.
Silvano Cassano, CEO 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."