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Lufthansa and Etihad strengthen ties

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Deals could deepen even further for former adversaries
Once adversaries, Lufthansa and Etihad Airways have revealed deals covering catering and aircraft maintenance, netting Lufthansa contracts worth more than €200 million.
The agreements could be a springboard to a broader alliance, with further tie-ups possible in information technology, procurement, cargo and new codeshare routes.
Even a full joint venture – the closest relationship available to airlines from different regions – could be on the cards. Lufthansa also says it is open to cooperation with Alitalia, where Etihad has a 49% stake.
In these initial accords, Lufthansa’s Sky Chefs will provide inflight food to Etihad at 16 cities around the world in a $100 million (€92.5 million) contract. And the Lufthansa Technik maintenance unit will cooperate with Etihad and its partner carriers in a €100 million-plus deal.
“This is just the beginning of something that could be of significant size,” Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr told Bloomberg Television. “Today marks the start. I think there’s room for more. A joint venture could be a potential next step, and there are other ideas.”
The carriers still have “different perspectives” on a range of topics but will be “putting these differences aside,” Spohr said.
While Lufthansa struggles to cut costs and launches low-cost flights, Etihad is dealing with losses from its European investments. Etihad says Hogan will stand down later this year.
Bloomberg

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