Etihad Airways is extending its reach into South America by sealing a codeshare with Avianca.

The partnership will see the UAE carrier place its ‘EY’ code on Avianca flights from Bogota in Columbia to Heathrow and Madrid, while Avianca will place its ‘AV’ code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and London and Madrid.

Members of the two airlines’ frequent flier schemes will be able to earn miles on the codeshare flights from May.

There is a possibility of expanding the benefits at a later stage to include other destinations on both airlines’ networks, according to Etihad.

Chief strategy and planning officer, Kevin Knight, said: “Avianca is one of the world’s oldest and most experienced airlines.

“Its reputation for superior service, an extensive network spanning both the Americas and Europe makes it fully compatible for Etihad Airways’ strategic plans to increase travel and customer benefits between the UAE and South America.

“The continued development and expansion of our partnership with the Avianca Group will give Etihad Airways unprecedented reach, facilitating its penetration in markets with greater commercial and tourism dynamics in Latin America, while promoting cultural and business relations between UAE and Colombia”.

Avianca president, Hernán Rincón, said: “We are very pleased with this codeshare agreement, which will provide travellers in Latin America with more options to easily reach strategic destinations in the Middle East and to enjoy Etihad Airways’ acclaimed service and hospitality.

“We are also very proud to open Avianca’s wings to Etihad Airways’ guests looking to travel to the many destinations we serve.”