ETIHAD Aviation Group and Lufthansa German Airlines unveiled details of a new commercial partnership. The two airline groups have concluded a $100 million global catering agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.
Addressing a press conference, James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group president and chief executive officer, said: “Partnerships are at the heart of our strategy and remain fundamental for us to compete effectively and efficiently in a complex and competitive global market. This partnership is the platform for a much wider strategic collaboration between our two organisations. It demonstrates the commitment of the Etihad Aviation Group Board and Abu Dhabi to our European growth strategy.”
Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa Group chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation with the Etihad Aviation Group. Together we can create added value for our customers and shareholders. Partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group fits perfectly the Lufthansa Group’s global strategy for our passenger airlines and service companies.”
The four-year catering contract will see Lufthansa’s LSG Sky Chefs provide catering services to Etihad Airways in 16 cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. This makes LSG the largest provider of catering services to the UAE’s national airline, outside its Abu Dhabi home base.
The previously announced codeshare between the two airline groups went on sale this February, for flights between Abu Dhabi and Germany. Lufthansa will place its ‘LH’ code on Etihad Airways’ twice daily flights between its Abu Dhabi hub and both Frankfurt and Munich. Etihad will 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 in Brazil and the Colombian capital, Bogota as soon as government approval is obtained.
The Lufthansa Group signed an agreement in December 2016 with airberlin, in which Etihad Aviation Group holds a 29 per cent stake, for the wet-lease of 38 aircraft. Lufthansa’s point-to-point carrier Eurowings will wet lease 33 aircraft, and Austrian Airlines, a Lufthansa Group airline, will take on five aircraft. The agreement between Eurowings and Air Berlin, signed in December last year, will last for six years and began in February 2017 when the first aircraft starts operating for Eurowings.
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