Air France-KLM Group and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming at enhancing their collaboration across passenger operations, loyalty programmes, talent development, and maintenance.
The signing ceremony took place at the Air France-KLM Group’s headquarters in Paris, France in the presence of Angus Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer, Air France-KLM, and Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer, Etihad Airways.
Through this partnership, and subject to any necessary regulatory approvals, Air France-KLM and Etihad contemplate expanding their codeshare and interline agreements initiated in 2012. As a first step, more than 40 new routes covering destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia have been made available for booking as of today, for travel as early as the winter 2023 season.
The MoU also proposes the ability for frequent flyers of both Flying Blue and Etihad Guest to earn and redeem miles with Air France, KLM, and Etihad. The airlines will also explore terminal co-location, reciprocal lounge access and ground handling, among other initiatives.
Etihad currently operates daily flights to both Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Amsterdam Schiphol airport from Abu Dhabi international airport.
Air France will start operating daily flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport from October 29, 2023.
Angus Clarke, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Air France-KLM, stated: “I’m delighted to further develop our partnership with Etihad Airways. This 11-year collaboration is now expanding even further, as we aim to explore opportunities in maintenance and loyalty, in addition to enhancing our route network for the benefit of our customers from all around the world. The attractiveness of Abu Dhabi as a destination and a hub, powered by Etihad’s large footprint spanning South and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, brings significant richness to this partnership. This moment marks our shared commitment to providing seamless, premium, customer-centric travel experiences to our shared global customer base.”
Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer at Etihad, continued: “We are excited to expand our collaboration with Air France-KLM, with this MoU serving as a testament to our shared vision of creating premium journeys for our guests. This MoU builds on our existing partnership by exploring deeper network enhancements as we offer improved connectivity between Abu Dhabi and Paris, and leveraging the extensive AF-KL network to Europe and beyond. It reaffirms Etihad’s intent to bolster Abu Dhabi’s cultural and economic growth as we look forward to welcoming more guests to our home enjoying better travel benefits and enhanced customer experiences along the way.”
Earlier this year, Air France-KLM announced it had signed a MoU with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism with the aim of reinforcing connectivity between Europe and Abu Dhabi.
About Air France-KLM:
A global player with a strong European base, the Air France-KLM Group’s main areas of business are passenger transport, cargo transport and aeronautical maintenance.
Air France-KLM is a leading airline Group in terms of international traffic on departure from Europe. It offers its customers access to a worldwide network, covering over 300 destinations thanks to Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Transavia, mainly from its hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol.
Its Flying Blue frequent flyer programme is one of the leaders in Europe with over 20 million members.
Together with its partners Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic, Air France-KLM operates the largest transatlantic joint venture, with more than 340 daily flights in 2019. Air France-KLM is also a member of the SkyTeam, the alliance dedicated to providing passengers with a more seamless travel experience at every step of their journey 19 member airlines working together across an extensive global network.
Recognized for 19 years as an industry leader in sustainable development, the Air France-KLM Group is determined to accelerate the transition to more sustainable aviation.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, was formed in 2003 and quickly went on to become one of the world’s leading airlines. From its home in Abu Dhabi, Etihad flies to passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Together with Etihad’s codeshare partners, Etihad’s network offers access to hundreds of international destinations. In recent years, Etihad has received numerous awards for its superior service and products, cargo offering, loyalty programme and more.
Etihad sees tackling the climate crisis as the most important issue of our time and was named the Airline Ratings Environmental Airline of the Year 2022 and 2023. Through strategic partnerships with major global aviation brands and OEMs, Etihad is relentless in its pursuit of industry decarbonisation.
To learn more, visit etihad.com.
Featured image credited to Air France/KLM Group and Etihad