UAE's Etihad partners with Air France-KLM

United Arab Emirate's (UAE's) national carrier Etihad Airways has signed a comprehensive codes-hare agreement with Air France-KLM group, marking the beginning of a strong strategic relationship between the two airline groups.

The codeshare on flights across the airlines' networks will expand Abu Dhabi-based Etihad's network to 321 destinations besides resulting in significant cost efficiencies.

Collectively, the two airline groups expect to carry around 85 million passengers in 2012.

The code-share agreement, which will become effective on 28 October, will also benefit around 22.5 million air travelers from frequent flier integration and reciprocal lounge access.

Simultaneously, Air France-KLM and German carrier airberlin, in which Etihad holds a 29.2-per cent stake, also announced a mutual code-share agreement allowing customers of each of the two carriers to fly seamlessly on all the routes operated by the other between France and Germany.

The wide-ranging code-share agreement will see Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM offering joint codes on destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.