Etihad Airways has launched a payment instalment scheme in a bid to help cash-strapped travellers fulfil their globetrotting dreams.
The United Arab Emirates carrier is offering the scheme for all ticket types, so customers can upgrade themselves to business and first class seats if they don’t have the cash readily available.
Currently the cheapest return flights from London to Sydney with Etihad come in at £715, meaning it would cost £12 a month if travellers opted for the maximum five-year payment plan.
Etihad Airways has launched a payment instalment scheme in a bid to help cash-strapped travellers fulfil their globetrotting dreams
The payment plan option is only available for those enrolled at 17 participating banks including, Emirates NBD and Riyad Bank.
However, the offering is expected to open up to a wider audience over the coming months.
To participate, travellers can select a ‘pay by instalment’ option when booking flights online. They must then select their bank and choose a payment period. Instalment times range from three to 60 months.
The airline is the first in the UAE region to offer the ‘fly now, pay later’ credit on its flights.
Elsewhere, Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar introduced a similar scheme earlier this month, while booking sites such as Expedia and World Airfares also allow travellers to spread the cost of flights and hotels.
To participate, travellers can select a ‘pay by instalment’ option when booking flights online. They must then select their bank and choose a payment period
It is not clear whether Abu Dhabi-based Etihad charges interest on its travel finance plans.
Commenting on the new concept, Etihad Airways vice president of digital strategy and innovation Justin Warby, said: ‘Etihad is committed to continually enhancing the travel experience by providing greater choice and flexibility to our guests.
‘We understand travel can be a significant expense, especially for families and those on a tight budget, so this new initiative is a great way for people to book and enjoy their travel without having to worry about paying in one large sum.’
As well as being a convenient payment option for those who want to spread the cost of travel over a period of months, Warby suggests instalment plans are a great way for people who want to experience travelling in premium classes, to attain that dream.
He added: ‘When we were designing this product we were really looking at how we can assist those low to medium income travellers and families, but of course, spreading the payment over a period of months is also a great way to indulge in Etihad Airways’ famous premium cabins.’