Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Germany’s Lufthansa are reportedly planning codeshares on several more international flights after announcing an initial deal at the end of last year.
German business publication Handelsblatt Global cited sources as saying that the once bitter rivals will add additional codeshare routes from Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs and market them jointly.
The existing agreement includes Etihad’s flights between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and Munich and Lufthansa’s long-haul services between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro and Bogota.
The two airlines have seen a dramatic transformation in relations in recent months after Lufthansa previously criticised Etihad and other Gulf carriers and accused them of unfair competition.
Etihad and Lufthansa announced partnerships covering catering and engineering in February and there were event reports that the airlines might merge. Both sides denied this.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said after the February partnership that there were signs the airline’s Gulf rivals were reaching the limits of their recent growth.
“I’ll leave that to the airlines in this region but I think this industry needs to see a healthier relationship between (supply) and demand. And I am optimistic we will see this in the years to come,” he said.
Lufthansa is also leasing 38 crewed planes from Air Berlin, in which Etihad owns a 29 per cent stake.