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Air France starts dogfight with Lufthansa

The Local · 9 Mar 2012, 12:45

Published: 09 Mar 2012 12:45 GMT+01:00

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The Financial Times Deutschland reported on Friday that Air France was working on an agreement with Air Berlin’s largest shareholder, Arabic airline Etihad.

Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta told the paper that while Air Berlin had not yet approached his firm, Air France-KLM “would definitely be open” to such cooperation with Germany’s second biggest airline. According to the FTD, Air Berlin insiders have been seeking to close a so-called “code-sharing” deal with Air France.

Code-sharing means that a seat can be bought from one airline for a flight operated by a partner airline. In this case, it would allow Air Berlin to operate flights directly to regional French airports like Marseilles, rather than through a major hub like Paris.

This means that both Air France and Air Berlin would be able to offer more European flights, including 'smaller' routes like Toulouse-Düsseldorf, currently dominated by budget airlines.

The agreement would represent a double attack on Lufthansa, since it would also include code-sharing agreements with Etihad, a Dubai-based airline that operates several routes in the Middle East, and has a 29-percent stake in Air Berlin.

In exchange for allowing Etihad to develop its European business, Air France would be able to profit from the Arab carrier. Spinetta said he was already in talks with Etihad to run code-sharing flights between Paris, Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:49 March 9, 2012 by petenick
Oh, the free market, there's nothing like it for the consumer. AF, better watch out

for the Red Baron!
20:55 March 9, 2012 by blackboot11
i think you mean 'Lufthansa, better watch out.... for the Red Baron when they partner up with AF/KLM
00:11 March 10, 2012 by Rictrin
maybe there's something good coming for the consumer ;let's wait and see.
01:02 March 10, 2012 by marimay
Air Berlin is a horrible airline.
10:50 March 10, 2012 by wood artist
Until Air France can come even remotely close to the level of customer service that Lufthansa supplies, this means nothing. I've flown both, and I'd rather walk or swim than endure Air France again. They are a wonderful example of everything bad you've ever heard about the French...and I'm not remotely xenophobic.

05:14 March 11, 2012 by mdeleus
FYI, Etihad is Abu Dhabi based and not Dubai. You might wanna correct the statement. :)
17:40 March 24, 2012 by rwk
Air France/Delta is horrible. I travel Lufthansa when I can afford it.
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