Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines have further cemented a commercial pact in a move widely interpreted as a way of combating the increasing power of rival Gulf carriers on Europe to Asia routes.
The signing of a wide-ranging partnership agreement came as Lufhansa was force to cancel 933 flights today affecting 107,000 passengers due to an ongoing cabin crew strike affecting flights from Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf running until Friday.
The deal between the German airline group and SIA will see key routes operated on a joint-venture basis, in addition to expanding codeshare ties and deepening commercial co-operation.
Flights between Singapore and both Frankfurt and Munich, as well as Singapore-Zurich, are to be operated under revenue-sharing arrangements.
New SIA-operated flights between Singapore and Düsseldorf, which are to start in July 2016, will also be covered under similar arrangements.
The two airline groups plan to co-operate in key markets in Europe, Asia and Australia.
This will involve co-ordinating schedules to provide more convenient connections between route networks, joint fare promotions, aligned corporate programmes and possible enhancements to existing frequent-flyer programme ties.
The agreement includes SIA subsidiary SilkAir, and Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss.
The expanded codeshare will provide SIA passengers with access to and from points in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, via the hubs of Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich, with more than 20 new codeshare routes.
Lufthansa and Swiss will in turn codeshare with SIA and regional arm SilkAir on more routes serving destinations in Asia and the Pacific. Codeshare co-operation is expected to be expanded to more destinations in future.
Some elements of the partnership require additional levels of regulatory approval and may be implemented progressively during 2016.
SIA chief executive, Goh Choon Phong, said: “We are very pleased to have reached agreement for this extensive partnership, which will bring about significant benefits to consumers through enhanced connections and more codeshare destinations.
“Singapore Airlines has had longstanding ties to Lufthansa, which is an ideal partner with an excellent network and strong customer focus.
“This agreement deepens ties with the wider Lufthansa Group, providing a solid foundation for numerous commercial co-operation opportunities,
“This is yet another example of how partnerships can result in more for our customers, as we can jointly provide benefits that we would otherwise not be able to provide on our own.”
Lufthansa chief executive, Carsten Spohr, said: “We can look back already on a long and fruitful partnership with Singapore Airlines. Because by working even closer together, we can both offer even better connections and even better services.
“Our intensified partnership with Singapore Airlines is an excellent addition to our global joint venture network, and is a cornerstone of our Asia strategy.
“And all these strategic partnerships will help the Lufthansa Group further consolidate its leading position in all key markets.”
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