Etihad Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have entered the second phase of their strategic partnership following the launch of the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s flights to Amsterdam.
The daily service, operated by a two cabin Airbus A330-200 and configured to carry 262 passengers with 22 in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class, was launched earlier and carries KLM’s KL code.
The launch of the new flights coincides with the addition of 12 new KLM destinations out of Schiphol Airport which now carry Etihad Airways EY code.
KLM has also added its KL code to a further six Etihad Airways destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president, said: “The launch of Etihad Airways flights to Amsterdam demonstrates the deepening of our relationship with KLM as we anticipate great demand for the KLM codeshare flights beyond Schiphol Airport.
“The partnership with KLM follows Etihad Airways strategy of working closely with partners around the world and using their existing networks to feed secondary cities, as well as other areas of benefit to customers like reciprocal lounge access and frequent flyer ‘earn and burn’.”
The 12 additional destinations that Etihad Airways customers can now access through codeshare operations with KLM are Stockholm, Aberdeen, Barcelona, Bergen, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Leeds/Bradford and Madrid.
These cities join the first phase of cities served by KLM, which carry the EY code, Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo, and Stavanger.
KLM now has its KL code on six Etihad Airways’ flights to Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Khartoum, Male, Muscat and Seychelles.
These join the initial group of cities served by Etihad Airways – Colombo, Islamabad, Lahore, Melbourne, and Sydney – which also carry the KL code.
Peter Hartman, KLM president, said: “We are delighted to work together with Etihad Airways. Together we are developing new forms of joint ventures as joint ventures developed in the 1980s are no longer suitable under current circumstances.
“We now offer a combined double daily service between the two cities which is fantastic for the airlines, the two hubs, and of course our customers. And this will bring a boost to our economies.”
In addition to flight operations Etihad Airways has this year wet-leased a Boeing 747-400 freighter from KLM. This aircraft, with a payload capacity of 124 tons, links the two cargo hubs of Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam, and increases our capacity to Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Dhaka.
From KLM’s partner, Air France, Etihad Airways has also wet-leased an Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from now until the end of the year.
Amsterdam joins a group of 17 leading European cities that Etihad Airways flies to including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris.