Etihad and Lufthansa agree deal – and hint of further links

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James Hogan, Etihad chief executive

James Hogan, Etihad chief executive

Etihad Airways and Lufthansa German Airlines, part of Europe’s largest airline group, today announced the conclusion of a codeshare agreement. The arrangement is set to start in January 2017, subject to government approval.

The wet-lease agreement between Lufthansa Group and airberlin – in which Etihad Aviation Group indirectly holds a 29% stake – was also announced today. Lufthansa’s Ryanair rival Eurowings and Austrian Airlines, a Lufthansa Group airline, have signed an agreement to wet lease 38 aircraft from airberlin. 33 of these aircraft are to be operated for the Eurowings Group, an additional five aircraft are to be flown for Austrian Airlines. The agreement has a term of six years and becomes effective from February 2017 subject to any regulatory requirements.  

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Carsten Spohr, chairman and chief executive, Lufthansa Group, said:  “We are looking forward to partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group. The wet-lease contract with airberlin fosters the growth of our Eurowings Group. The codeshare agreement of Lufthansa and Etihad will offer our customers more benefits and complement both airlines’ networks. We will consider extending our cooperation in other areas.”

Under the codeshare agreement, the German airline will place its ‘LH’ code on Etihad Airways’ twice daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and its twice daily services between Abu Dhabi and Munich.

The UAE’s national airline will put its ‘EY’ code on Lufthansa’s long-haul, non-stop intercontinental services between its home base of Frankfurt, the business and commercial capital of Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as Bogota, Colombia. 

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James Hogan, President and chief executive, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have long seen Germany as a key strategic market for Etihad Aviation Group and this new relationship with Lufthansa marks the next step in our commitment to the leading European aviation group.”

 He added: “We are, in our role as a minority shareholder in airberlin, fully supportive of the separate agreement reached today with the Lufthansa Group to wet lease 38 airberlin aircraft.”

 

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Maria Sinnott

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