15 OCTOBER 2012
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In what some cynics have suggested was a bid to upstage Gulf area rival Qatar Airways, Etihad revealed last Monday (8 October), hours before the oneworld press conference, that it was going into a strategic partnership with Air France.
How this all works out remains to be seen with Air France-KLM a leader of the Skyteam grouping, airberlin part of oneworld, and Etihad non-aligned.
A 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 confirmed a new codeshare agreement with airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest airline, in which Etihad Airways holds a 29.21% stake.
Collectively, the two airline groups expect to carry more than 85m passengers in 2012.
Other potential areas of co-operation include joint procurement, as well as maintenance and repair collaboration, as both carriers identify cost savings and seek to benefit from economies of scale. www.airfrance.com www.etihad.com
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