Etihad inks Air France-KLM deal
DUBAI - The Associated PressRapidly expanding Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has agreed to jointly market some of its flights with Air France-KLM in what could be the beginning of a larger strategic alliance, the airlines said yesterday.
The deal for now covers codesharing on flights between Etihad’s hub in the United Arab Emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam and Paris, as well as some connecting flights to European, Asian and Australian destinations. Codeshare deals, in which passengers can buy a single ticket to fly on multiple airlines, are common in the airline industry. They allow carriers to expand their reach without having to launch or acquire the right to operate additional routes.
Etihad, though, is suggesting the agreement may lead to deeper ties with the Franco-Dutch airline operator. Its statement envisions the codeshares as the first phase of a “much larger strategic partnership” that could see the airlines team up on frequent flier programs, and cut costs.