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 28th.
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’ chief executive, 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.”
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.
Jean–Cyril Spinetta, Air France-KLM chief executive, 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,” 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.
The EY code will also be placed on KLM flights between Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi, Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo and Stavanger.
Air France will initially place its AF code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles, the Maldives, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Islamabad.
KLM will initially place its KL code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Melbourne, Islamabad, Colombo and Lahore.
The new strategic partners will work together on the proposed integration of frequent flyer programs which includes reciprocal ‘earn-and-burn’ privileges for 1.5 million Etihad Guest members and 21 million Air France-KLM Flying Blue frequent flyers across the combined networks.
Etihad Airways is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.