Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM have signed a historic agreement to codeshare on flights across the airlines’ networks, the first phase of a much larger strategic partnership which commences on October 28.
The wide-ranging codeshare agreement will see Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM offering joint codes on destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. At the same time, Air France is announcing a new codeshare agreement with airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest airline, in which Etihad Airways holds a 29.21 per cent stake.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This deal, Etihad Airways’ 40th codeshare, marks a momentous milestone for both airline groups and offers countless opportunities to develop an unrivalled commercial relationship.
“It reflects the core elements of Etihad Airways’ 10-year master plan, driven by organic network growth, combined with the forging of strategic codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines.
“The linking together of these three components, as we continue to strengthen our bilateral agreements, means all the pieces of our plan are coming together.”
Collectively, the two airline groups expect to carry more than 85 million passengers in 2012. Air France-KLM and airberlin today also announced a mutual codeshare agreement allowing customers of each of the two carriers to fly seamlessly on all the routes operated by the other between France and Germany.
Hartmut Mehdorn, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin, said: “Our cooperation with the Air France-KLM Group represents another milestone for airberlin in developing a unique, global flight network in conjunction with these world-beating airlines.
“This strategic step will add further interesting services to the choice we can offer our passengers and will have a positive influence on our operations. In this way we will considerably strengthen our presence in the European market and link our Berlin hub to even more destinations.”
Jean–Cyril Spinetta, Air France-KLM Chief Executive Officer, said: “This new partnership between Air France-KLM and Etihad Airways and airberlin reflects our Group’s strategic positioning to ensure the best possible services between Europe and the rest of the world, by developing our network and airline partnerships.
"Working with Etihad Airways allows us to offer our customers a range of new attractive destinations,” Mr Spinetta added.
Initially, the agreement between Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM will see the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s EY code placed on Air France flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse.