Cape Town - Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, and Lufthansa German Airlines, part of Europe’s largest airline group, have concluded 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. Lufthansa’s point-to-point carrier Eurowings and Austrian Airlines, a Lufthansa Group airline, have signed an agreement to wet-lease 38 aircraft from airberlin.
Of these aircraft 33 are to be operated for the Eurowings Group and 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. The leases have been agreed at competitive rates.
Under the codeshare agreement, the German airline will place its "LH" code on Etihad Airways’ twice daily non-stop flights between its home base of Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and its twice daily non-stop services between Abu Dhabi and Munich.
The UAE’s national airline will, in turn, put its "EY" code on Lufthansa’s long-haul, non-stop intercontinental services between its home base of Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as Bogota, Colombia.
“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. Lufthansa is highly respected globally and I’m very pleased that we will work together in the future for the benefit of our customers," said James Hogan, president and CEO of the Etihad Aviation Group.
“Additionally, we are, in our role as a minority shareholder in airberlin, fully supportive of the separate agreement reached with the Lufthansa Group to wet lease 38 airberlin aircraft. It is very clear to us at Etihad Airways that Lufthansa is a like-minded, forward thinking organisation with which we can do strong, meaningful and mutually beneficial business.”
Carsten Spohr, chair of the board and CEO of Lufthansa Group, said the group is 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,” said Spohr.
Earlier this month Etihad Airways was named the winner of the category for the "World’s Leading Airline" at the 23rd annual World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony. This marked the eighth consecutive year that the airline has received the accolade.
Lufthansa celebrated its new direct year-round flight between Frankfurt and Cape Town with a celebration in the Mother City earlier in December. This route will be served three times a week in the first year of service. On top of that there are seasonal direct flights by the group from Munich and Zurich to the Mother City.Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: Fin24’s top stories