Etihad Airways lets you fly now and pay later

Stephanie Yip 5 October 2017

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The 5-star airline has teamed up with the UAE's version of Afterpay.

The Internet went into a frenzy when Jetstar teamed up with Afterpay to offer interest-free repayments on flights. Now, Etihad Airways has launched its own payment plan option to enable keen travellers to instantly purchase their flights and then pay them off later, one month at a time.

To facilitate this payment plan, the UAE airline has teamed up with PayFort, which is similar to Afterpay, only geared toward purchases in the Arab nations. Similar to how Afterpay works, you'll need to opt to pay via PayFort during the booking process. You will then be prompted to key in your payment details, including your credit card and preferred payment period.

Unlike Afterpay, where you must complete your payment over eight weeks, PayFort allows you up to 60 months to pay for your purchase. That's five years to pay off a flight! This opens up new avenues for travellers wishing to experience the full luxuries of this 5-star airline, including its three-room Residence Suite, which costs around £22,000 to book for a one-way journey between Dubai and New York.

Of the decision to team up with PayFort, Etihad's vice president of digital strategy and innovation said in a statement: "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."

At the moment, PayFort is only available with 17 participating banks and to residents of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. If it does eventually get offered to Australians, it could mean a world of difference for those aspiring to bump up from economy class.

After all, who wouldn't be tempted to book a business class trip from Sydney to Abu Dhabi for $6,082 and pay it off over five years via monthly instalments of $101.37?


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