Etihad Airways Launches Business Connect In India

The recent opening of Al Maktoum International Airport in the Dubai World Central complex is evidence enough that even a global recession has not stopped the country from pursuing its mass investment in aerospace infrastructure. While others around the world have tightened their purse strings, the UAE has pushed ahead at full speed, and the results have shown that the strategy is paying rich dividends.


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has launched BusinessConnect in India, a new loyalty programme specifically for SME businesses.

Etihad AirwaysAimed at small and medium enterprises, Etihad BusinessConnect is a free programme built upon the same platform as Etihad Guest, and rewards company loyalty with benefits including free flights, upgrades, and hundreds of items available through the online rewards shop.

Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways’ General Manager in India, said: “We are pleased to offer BusinessConnect to all our business customers in India. The loyalty programme will provide an excellent reward system for individuals as well as the businesses they work for.”

The scheme is open to any registered businesses in India, and between two and two hundred employees can be registered under one BusinessConnect account. Management of the account is also in the hands of the business itself, with a designated administrator to oversee accrual and redemption, and with 24-hour online access, maintaining the account is kept simple and flexible.

Employees first sign up to Etihad Guest, and will take advantage of the programme rewards as individuals. By registering with BusinessConnect, Etihad will also credit the company account with a percentage of each individual’s miles, allowing the business to build its own bank of reward miles.

Key benefits of the BusinessConnect programme include:

–          5,000 bonus mile* on the administrator’s account with the company’s first flight after enrolment;

–          60% of Diamond First and Pearl Business Class miles traveled by employees

–          30% of Coral Economy Class miles traveled by employees

All miles are added up to earn rewards faster, and can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades and a choice of over 1600 rewards from the online rewards shop.

Flights can be booked through any channel to accrue Etihad Guest and BusinessConnect miles – this includes online, Etihad ticket offices and call centers, and indeed travel agents. All that companies need to do to earn their miles is to make sure that the Etihad Guest number is entered into the individuals booking and is linked to the BusinessConnect account.

Members can visit the online Reward Shop found on, where there are details of the number of miles, or the Miles+ Cash combination, that is required for each Reward – and can redeem their balance directly. Miles earned through Etihad BusinessConnect and Etihad Guest memberships are valid for three years from the date they are earned.