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Press: WestJet eyes pact with Air France

Canada’s WestJet Airlines is in talks with Air France to consolidate their services and step up a turf war with much-bigger rival carrier, Air Canada , a newspaper said on Monday. The Globe and Mail paper cited industry sources as saying WestJet, based in Western Canada, is in talks with Air France to reach an “interline” agreement to cooperate on services such as baggage transfer.

The agreement would see WestJet accepting inbound Air France electronic tickets by mid-2008, while Air France would accept outbound WestJet e-tickets by the end of 2008.

This would pave the way for passengers to book a flight to Paris through WestJet, with Air France receiving a portion of the fare.

One benefit of the partnership would be that WestJet would initially attract Air France passengers arriving in Toronto and Montreal and wanting to connect to other Canadian cities.

“Discussions with Air France have been very positive, and there is a strong desire by both airlines to move ahead on an interline traffic agreement,” said Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet executive vice-president of commercial distribution.