Air France-KLM Group and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming at enhancing their collaboration opportunities 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 and Amsterdam Schiphol from Abu Dhabi international airport.
Air France will start operating daily flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi International Airport from October 29, 2023.
Angus Clarke, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Air France-KLM, said: "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, said: “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.