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Etihad opens 'more flexible' frequent flyer scheme

LONDON - Etihad Airways has unveiled its frequent flyer scheme, Etihad Guest, which offers the ability to redeem miles on any flight and is supported by a range of partners including HSBC.

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Etihad, which launched in 2003 as the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, currently flies to 35 international destinations and plans to increase this number to 70 by 2010.

Last September it appointed Carlson Marketing to develop a frequent flyer programme.

The airline claims other frequent flyer schemes "have remained relatively unchallenged by the industry until now". Its scheme is free and also offers the ability to use various combinations of miles and cash when booking reward flights and the ability to earn miles on reward flights.

Among the partners with which members can earn miles are HSBC, through its Etihad co-branded card, car hire firms Europcar and Hertz, and hotel groups Hilton, Radisson, Kempinski and Middle East-based Rotana.

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