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Etihad Airways Partners Air France-KLM

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Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM have signed an agreement to codeshare on flights across the airlines networks, the first phase of a much larger strategic partnership which commences on 28 October 2012.

The 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 will codeshare with airberlin, Europes sixth largest airline, in which Etihad Airways holds a 29.21% stake.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said, This deal, Etihad Airways 40th codeshare, marks a momentous milestone for both airline groups 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.

Collectively, the two airline groups expect to carry more than 85 million passengers in 2012.

Initially, the agreement between Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM will see the Abu Dhabi-based carriers EY code placed on Air France flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse.

The EY code will also be placed on KLM flights between Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi, Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo and Stavanger.

Air France will initially place its AF code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles, the Maldives, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Islamabad.

KLM will initially place its KL code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Melbourne, Islamabad, Colombo and Lahore.

Air France-KLM / airberlin

 Air France-KLM and airberlin will also codeshare following an agreement allowing customers of each of the two carriers to fly seamlessly on all the routes operated by the other between France and Germany.

Hartmut Mehdorn, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin, said, The cooperation with Air France and KLM is another milestone in the construction of a truly unique global flight network together with the worlds finest airlines. This strategic step will deliver significant benefits to our business and provide our guests with additional interesting opportunities by adding new destinations. We will also strengthen our presence in the French and in the German markets.

Mr Hogan added: This deal enables us to further extend our global reach and now gives us a combined network of 321 destinations the largest of any Middle East carrier. The agreement also opens up many new markets for our passengers in Europe and reinforces the importance of strategic commercial partnerships as one of the key enablers for accelerated growth of our network. Partnerships are delivering a major source of our revenue growth, by extending our network reach and putting our brand directly in front of millions of new customers. This year to date, they are providing 18% of our revenues and will be a major contributor to our sustained profitability growth this year and into the future.

The new strategic partners will work together on the proposed integration of frequent flyer programs which includes reciprocal earn-and-burn privileges for 1.5 million Etihad Guest members and 21 million Air France-KLM Flying Blue frequent flyers across the combined networks.

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, as Etihad Airways is doing with its other strategic partners.

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