“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”, James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said.
The wet-lease agreement between Lufthansa Group and airberlin — in which Etihad Aviation Group indirectly holds a 29 percent stake — was also announced on Friday. 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. Thirty-three 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. The leases have been agreed at competitive rates.
“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”, Hogan added.
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 biggest city in southern Germany.
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, the business and commercial capital of Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as Bogota, Colombia.
“The codeshare agreement of Lufthansa and Etihad will offer our customers more benefits and complement both airlines’ networks”, Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Lufthansa Group said, adding that both airlines will consider extending their cooperation in other areas.