Codeshares seem to be the heart of the industry these days. And it seems AirFrance-KLM Group and Etihad have major codeshare agreement which will bolster Etihad’s presence within mainland Europe and allow Air France-KLM the opportunity to strengthen its market reach in the Subcontinent and Australia.
The agreement starts quickly – on 28th October 2012.
To start with Air France will pop Ethiad’s code on flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and:
- Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse,
KLM flights between Amsterdam and:
- Abu Dhabi, Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo and Stavanger.
Etihad place Air France codes on flights from Abu Dhabi to:
- The Seychelles, the Maldives, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Islamabad,
KLM codes will be added to flights between Abu Dhabi
- Sydney, Melbourne, Islamabad, Colombo and Lahore.
An interesting side effect from the deal is that Air France will commence codesharing with Air Berlin – an airline that Etihad holds 29.21% stake in to allow customers of each of the two carriers to fly on each other’s routes between France and Germany.
Ethiad states this is the the first phase of a “much larger strategic partnership” 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.”
This will give Etihad coverage of up to 321 destinations.
For frequent flyers, Etihad Guest and AirFrance-KLM Flying Blue could be integrated with earn and burn possibities on both airlines for the 1.5 million Etihad Guest members and 21 million Air France-KLM Flying Blue members.
I was musing in my head a few days ago the way Etihad is going – it isn’t going to join a global alliance, it’s going to create its own alliance.
Seems like this is a step in that direction…