Etihad Airways and Lufthansa German Airlines have signed a long-awaited codeshare agreement on flights, set to start in January 2017.
The German carrier twice reneged on an agreement in 2011, according to comments made by Etihad CEO and President James Hogan in 2014.
The deal is subject to government approval.
Etihad is set to codeshare with Lufthansa on twice daily non-stop flights between its home base of Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt, and its twice daily services between Abu Dhabi and Munich.
The Abu Dhabi carrier will, in turn, put its “EY” code on Lufthansa’s long-haul services between its home base of Frankfurt, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as Bogota, Colombia.
Both companies also agreed to a wet-lease, in other words, a full lease of aircraft, crew, and maintenance, whereby Lufthansa will rent out 38 aircraft from airberlin, a company Etihad Aviation Group indirectly holds a 29 per cent stake in.
Of the aircraft being leased, 33 will go to the Eurowings Group, Lufthansa’s point-to-point carrier, whilst an additional five aircraft are to be flown for Austrian Airlines, its network carrier.
Despite hostilities in the past, the statements from both companies suggest the start of a broader partnership, with Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa Group, saying, “we will consider extending our cooperation in other areas”.