This afternoon there will be a significant announcement from oneworld, which most expect will be at least a partial joining on Qatar into the alliance.
If true, no doubt this was pushed along by Qantas’ severing some existing ties with British Airways over Australia – Europe connections and working closely with Emirates instead. That left BA in the cold and the Chairman of that oneworld carrier has frequently spoken positively of Qatar.
But as I’ve pointed out in the past, an alliance with Qatar is slightly inconvenient given the relationship that has been building between
EmiratesEtihad and oneworld members Air Berlin and American.
Etihad owns nearly a 30% stake in Air Berlin, and has a frequent flyer relationship with American. And of course is a fierce competitor with Qatar.
Now Reuters is reporting that Air France KLM, Air Berlin, and Etihad will announce a codesharing relationship today — supposed “the deal will be the first phase of a much larger strategic partnership.”
Air France-KLM, Air Berlin and Abu Dhabi flag carrier Etihad, plan to offer passengers access to some of each other’s services from October 28 in a sign of improving relations between European and Gulf carriers.
A code-share deal with Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM will enable Etihad customers to fly on KLM’s daily Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi flight, while Air France customers will be able to travel on the daily Etihad service between Paris and Abu Dhabi, Air France-KLM said in a statement.
At the same time, Air France announced a new code share agreement with Air Berlin, in which Etihad Airways holds a 29.21 percent stake.
Does this foreshadow Etihad joining Skyteam? Can Air Berlin maintain codeshare relatioships with Air France KLM while it remains a oneworld partner of British Airways?
It’s certainly interesting times for shifting alliances as the mega Middle East carriers pick sides.