Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi purchased 49% of Alitalia and the airlines have now started to offer reciprocal elite benefits effective May 1, 2015.
Alitalia is one of the Etihad Partners airlines of Air Lingus, Airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia.
Alitalia Elite Benefits on Etihad flights:
Etihad Airways Guest elite member benefits on Alitalia flights:
Note that it clearly states that flights on Alitalia are NOT tier qualifying, although you earn tier bonus based on your Etihad Guest status.
It is weird that you cannot earn elite qualifying tier miles on Etihad Guest for Alitalia flights when you can on Alitalia’s program for Etihad. Not sure if this is just an oversight on Etihad’s web page.
Etihad Airlines is building its own mini alliance that is based on equity partnerships (Etihad buys part of the usually money losing airline).
Great that there are more benefits for my Etihad Guest Gold (soon to be Platinum) status.