Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 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 percent stake "“ was also announced today. Lufthansa"™s point-to-point carrier Eurowings and Lufthansa Group airline Austrian Airlines, have signed an agreement to wet-lease 38 aircraft from airberlin. Thirty-three of these aircraft will be operated by the Eurowings Group with the remaining five flown for Austrian Airlines. The agreement has a term of six years and becomes effective in February 2017, subject to any regulatory requirements. The aircraft will be leased at usual market terms.
Under the codeshare agreement, the German airline will place its "˜LH"™ code on Etihad Airway"™ twice daily non-stop flights between the carrier"™ respective home base of Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi, as well as on their twice daily non-stop services between Abu Dhabi and Lufthansa"™s Munich hub.
The UAE"™s national airline will, in turn, put its "˜EY"™ code on Lufthansa"™s long-haul, non-stop intercontinental services between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as Bogota, Colombia.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, 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. Lufthansa is highly respected globally and I"™m very pleased that we will work together in the future for the benefit of our customers. Additionally, 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. It is very clear to us at Etihad Airways that Lufthansa is a like-minded, forward-thinking organization with which we can do strong, meaningful and mutually beneficial business."
Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Board and CEO, 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 between Lufthansa and Etihad will offer our customers more benefits and complement both airline"™ networks. We will consider extending our cooperation in other areas."