Air France KLM and Etihad Airways expand their partnership

Render of Air France KLM and Etihad aircraft tails together.
Image Credit: Etihad Airways
By Lewis Chesworth 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Air France KLM and Etihad Airways have expanded their mutual partnership. The European airline group and United Arab Emirates national flag carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 7 September confirming this.

The aim of this expansion in partnership is to help enhance the collaboration across passenger operations, loyalty programmes, talent development and maintenance.

The signing between the two companies was held at Air France-KLM Group’s headquarters in Paris, France.

Present at the ceremony was Angus Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer for Air France-KLM, who said, “I’m delighted to further develop our partnership with Etihad Airways, this 11 year collaboration is now expanding even further, as we aim to explore opportunities in maintenance and loyalty, in addition to enhancing our route network for the benefit of our customers from all around the world”.

Also present was Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer at Etihad, who ventured, “We are excited to expand our collaboration with Air France-KLM, with this MoU serving as a testament to our shared vision of creating premium journeys for our guests”.

Air France and Etihad Airways jets on the taxiway.
Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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The benefits of the MoU


The major leading benefit of this MoU, is that the airlines combined have launched more than 40 new routes across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia. Some of these are bookable for as early as Winter 2023.

As part of this route expansion, Air France has announced it will start flying daily flights between Paris Charles De Gaulle and Abu Dhabi from the 29th October 2023. Currently Etihad already operates flights between Paris and Abu Dhabi as well as to Amsterdam Schiphol.

Angus Clarke added to his statement covering the new route to Abu Dhabi saying, “The attractiveness of Abu Dhabi as a destination and a hub, powered by Etihad’s large footprint spanning South and Southeast Asia as well as Australia, brings significant richness to this partnership”.

To conclude, Clarke added, “This moment marks our shared commitment to providing seamless, premium, customer centric travel experiences to our shared global customer base”.

Arik De, also shared his excitement for the new route with Air France to Paris saying, “This MoU builds on our existing partnership by exploring deeper network enhancements as we offer improved connectivity between Abu Dhabi and Paris and leveraging the extensive AF-KL network to Europe and beyond”.

Arik finished by saying, “It reaffirms Etihad’s intent to bolster Abu Dhabi cultural and economic growth as we look forward to welcoming more guests to our home enjoying better travel benefits and enhanced customer experiences along the way”.

Great things to come


With this new MoU signed, Air France-KLM and Etihad have great things to look forward to.

Given Etihad’s expansive network covering so much of the world, it puts the 2 European carriers on a more global stage covering greater distances.

In addition, its not just this MoU that has been signed that makes a greater difference to the partnership. Earlier this year, Air France-KLM announced it had a signed a MoU with Abu Dhabi’s Department for Culture and Tourism.

All of this combined shows the airlines are committed to bringing the greatest connectivity between the Middle East and Europe as well as beyond.

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