By OMOLOLA ITAYEMI
Seamless connections and ease of travel for passengers as Air France-KLM Group, Etihad Airways, and airberlin announce the implementation of a commercial partnership from October 28, thanks to mutual code-share agreements.
On the routes between Europe and Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways customers will be able to fly on the
Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi daily flight operated by KLM.
Air France customers will be able to travel everyday between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways operated flights.
New connections through the global gateways of Paris-CDG, Amsterdam-Schiphol and Abu Dhabi
Beyond their gateways, this code-share agreement offers five destinations each to Air France and KLM passengers on the Asian and Australian market and ten European destinations to Etihad passengers on Air France and KLM.
Air France passengers will be able to connect through Abu Dhabi for flights to Colombo (Sri Lanka), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Katmandu* (Nepal), Mahe (Seychelles), and Male (Maldives).
KLM passengers will be able to connect through Abu Dhabi for flights to Colombo (Sri Lanka), Islamabad (Pakistan), Lahore (Pakistan), Melbourne (Australia), and Sydney (Australia).
Etihad Airways passengers will be able to connect through Paris-CDG airport for flights to Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse under an Air France operated flight, and through Amsterdam-Schiphol to Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo, and Stavanger under a KLM operated flight.
Also Air France and airberlin announce a mutual codeshare agreement, allowing customers of either carrier to fly on all the routes operated by the other between France and Germany. Passengers will also be able to connect to some selected destinations via Paris for airberlin, and via Berlin or Düsseldorf for Air France. Additionally, KLM and airberlin will cooperate on routes between the Netherlands and Germany:
KLM will codeshare with airberlin on three destinations beyond Berlin: Krakow (Poland), Gdansk (Poland) and Kaliningrad (Russia). airberlin will codeshare on Berlin-Amsterdam routes as well as on Edinburgh (UK), Glasgow (UK) and Manchester (UK) beyond Amsterdam.
“This new partnership between Air France-KLM, Etihad Airways, and airberlin reflects our Group’s strategic positioning to ensure the best possible services in Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world, by developing our network and airline partnerships.” declared Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Air France-KLM. He added: “Working with Etihad Airways and
airberlin allows us to offer our customers a range of new attractive destinations. It is an important move, as the networks from our hubs Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol will be enriched and our customers will have more choice now with a new and premium partner like Etihad Airways”.
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.”
Hartmut Mehdorn, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin, stated: “The cooperation with Air France and KLM is another milestone in the construction of a truly unique global flight network together with the world’s 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.”
About Air France-KLM:
Air France-KLM, the result of a merger between Air France and KLM in 2004, is one of the leading European air transport groups. Its main activities are the air transport of passengers and cargo as well as aircraft maintenance. In 2011, Air France-KLM carried 75.8 million passengers and 1.1 million tonnes of cargo. The Group's fleet comprises 586 aircraft, including 173 regional aircraft operated by its partners Brit Air, City Jet, Regional and KLM Cityhopper. Its network covers 230 destinations in 113 countries from its hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol. The Flying Blue frequent flyer programme is leader in Europe and has over 21 million members.
Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance which has 18 member airlines, offering customers access to a global network of over 14,800 daily flights to 993 destinations in 186 countries.
About Etihad Airways:
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2011 carried 8.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 87 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with a fleet of 66 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and 100 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus.
airberlin is Germany’s second largest airline. The company has a workforce of 9,300 employees. Each year airberlin receives over 10 awards for service and quality. The fleet comprises 152 aircraft with an average age of five years, making it one of the most modern fleets in Europe. The airline's state-of-the-art jets are highly fuel-efficient, which contributes towards a long-term reduction in pollution emissions from aircraft. As one of the major European airlines, airberlin flies to 170 destinations in 40 countries. In 2011, over 35 million passengers were transported. In December 2011 airberlin entered into a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways. Since 20th March 2012 airberlin has been a full member of the global airline alliance oneworld®. airberlin operates codeshare flights with oneworld members American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and Japan Airlines.
Recent developments in AirFrance KLM include
Announcement of its Winter 2012-13 schedule, effective on 28th October. In line with the Transform 2015 plan, the group has opted to stabilize capacity relative to Winter 2011-12, with a 0.5% increase on long haul and a 0.5% reduction on medium-haul. This minimal rise on long-haul reflects a reduction in capacity to North America and the Middle East and a slight increase to Asiaand Africa.
Air France confirmed it will invest several hundred million euros to reposition its product and services
at the highest level within the industry. On its medium-haul network, the company will introduce a new catering offer in Business and Premium Economy during the upcoming Winter season. In world premiere, the company will deploy, during 2013, a complimentary digital press service. This innovation will allow all passengers to upload daily press on their tablets and smartphones before boarding their flight. Finally as from 2014, the La Première and Business cabins on board the Company’s Boeing 777 aircraft will be progressively redesigned.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the main international index evaluating companies on their performance in terms of sustainable development, has once again ranked Air France-KLM air transport leader for the year 2012, for the 8th year running. Thanks to its performance, the group is also leader of the broader ‘Transport and leisure’ sector. This distinction ranks the 19 most responsible companies in the world, each in their own sector of activity.