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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad partners with Lufthansa

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad partners with Lufthansa

The partnership covers catering and engineering contracts

One-time arch rivals Etihad Airways and Lufthansa today announced partnerships covering catering and engineering which are designed to lay the foundations towards further integration.

The agreements cover a $100m catering contract with LSG Sky Chefs, which has 90 years’ aviation experience, across 16 cities, and an MoU with leading MRO provider Lufthansa Technik.

Etihad Aviation Group’s CEO James Hogan hailed the tie-up as one of its most important “non-equity partnerships”, although that phrase was telling, following the challenges Etihad has faced with AirBerlin – 33 of whose planes are now being operated by Eurowings – and Alitalia.

“We continue to refine and fine-tune strategies to react to market challenges,” he said.

While it will be up to each partner airline how far it wants to collaborate with Lufthansa, the outgoing CEO said moving forward, it would look at “how network airlines can align with the Lufthansa group”. There was the “potential” for it to turn into a joint venture.

Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr portrayed a positive front while referring to ongoing subsidy claims involving Gulf carriers, and reiterating its position that airlines should adhere to WTO fair trade regulations.

“We can have our differences and work together,” he said.

The announcement coincided with the start of a new codeshare involving Etihad and Lufthansa on routes between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and Munich. Etihad will have access to Lufthansa’s terminals in both airports.

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