India's Jet, Air France-KLM announce tie-up on routes

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The partnership between the two could, however, hurt the business prospects of major Gulf career Etihad Airlines, which owns 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, but the pact would help Jet Airlines expand its footprints internationally.

The "enhanced cooperation agreement" with Air France-KLM, signed on Wednesday in India's financial capital Mumbai, is created to route more traffic and expand the number of flights to Europe and then onwards to the United States.

"Now, [Europe and the US] are deepening their India network now aircraft can fly longer distances, so it's a case of "welcome to the competitive real world".

Develop a seamless travel experience between the networks of Jet Airways, Air France and KLM.

He added that Jet had a "great relationship with Etihad" and that would continue. "As Jet Airways broadens its revenue base, that income and dividend is paid to Etihad as well, so, clearly, this is something that might benefit the alliance".

Etihad was not immediately available for comment.

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Jean-Marc Janaillac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM said: "Air France-KLM and Jet Airways are launching the first cooperation agreement of its kind on the India - Europe market, one of the markets at the heart of the group's strategy for the coming years".

The agreement is also meant to complement the Air France-KLM and US-based Delta Air Lines' transatlantic partnership between Europe and North America, offering access to over 200 destinations in North America.

Connecting opportunities will be strengthened through adapted flight times via Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam-Schiphol as well as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

"Jet Airways, Air France, KLM, and, Delta Air Lines will thus connect India to a vast transatlantic network via the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol hubs".

The Times of India quoted an unidentified source saying with its 14 per cent domestic and 17-18 per cent worldwide market share, getting Air India would be a paradigm shift for whichever airline gets Air India, and that Jet Airways and even SpiceJet would have no option but to bid for Air India.

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