Air India in code-share pact with Lufthansa

Mumbai: Lufthansa and Air India (AI) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will cover strategic areas including the development of the India-US market, code sharing and integration of their respective frequent flyer programmes.

Addressing press persons yesterday, the chairman and managing director, (AI) V Thulasidas, said: "AI and Lufthansa have signed a document of commercial importance for the two international carriers. The agreement covers vital subjects and strategic areas of co-operation, joint development of the Indian, European, and the US markets, harmonisation of the sales and marketing of the two national carriers, as well as global code-sharing and formation of a joint frequent flyer programme."

The MoU formalises a strategic agreement that the two airlines had entered into in August last year.

While Lufthansa has entered into similar alliances with other airlines across the world, in the opinion of Wolfgang Mayrhuber, what was unique about the current arrangement was the potential growth offered by the Indian market.

Mayrhuber said while India accounted for 17 per cent of the global population, its share in global aviation stood at just 0.02 per cent.

"Indian operations account for 20 per cent of Lufthansa's revenues from Asia. The Asian region contributes about 20 per cent of the revenues of Lufthansa world wide," he said.