Etihad Airways has strengthened its relationship with Air France-KLM, with the announcement that the UAE flag carrier will wet-lease an Air France Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30.
Air France will operate the 272 seat aircraft as one of Etihad Airways’ two daily Paris-Abu Dhabi return services – EY37 and EY38 respectively.
Last October, Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM forged a strategic partnership which saw the two airline groups work together to create value for each airline.
The agreement expanded the UAE flag carrier’s European network with codeshare 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 beyond.
It also played a key role in Etihad Airways announcing direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services effective May 15, in addition to KLM increasing 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.”
Etihad Airways premium customers travelling from or to Paris Charles de Gaulle will continue to receive the priority service they have become accustomed to, including: Etihad Chauffeur service to CDG airport, priority check-in at the Etihad Airways counter, access to the new 620 square metre Etihad Airways signature premium lounge, and subsequent priority boarding of the aircraft.