Etihad Airways has further developed its relationship with Air France-KLM, with the announcement that the UAE flag carrier will lease an Air France Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30. Under the arrangement, Air France will run the 272 seat aircraft as one of Etihad Airways’ 2 daily Paris-Abu Dhabi return services.
Last October, Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM forged a tactical collaboration which allowed the 2 airline groups to work together to create value for each airline.
The agreement extended the UAE flag carrier’s European network with code-share services beyond Paris to Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse, and saw Air France place its AF flight code on Etihad Airways operated flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi, and to cities further afield. The agreement also played a crucial role in Etihad Airways revealing direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services effective May 15, in addition to KLM boosting its direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services to daily from summer 2013.
Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “This agreement to wet-lease an Air France A340-300 aircraft demonstrates the mutual benefits generated by our close relationship with Air France-KLM. On the back of recent announcements, this latest cooperation deal is good for both carriers in terms of better optimising our fleets for the rest of 2013.
“The temporary wet-leased EY37 and EY38 return service will also see Etihad Airways cabin crew on board, working alongside Air France attendants to provide our guests with an inspired travelling experience that the world’s leading airline is best known for.”
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