Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has expanded its strategic cooperation with Air France-KLM through a several hundred million US dollar component maintenance agreement for its Boeing 777 fleet.
The 10-year deal, effective February 2016, provides Etihad Airways and its equity partners with access to an extensive global pool of components offered by Air France KLM maintenance arm Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) for the wide-body aircraft, through the 777 Component Services Program (CSP) jointly operated with Boeing. Etihad Airways currently operates a fleet of 33 long-range and extended-range passenger and cargo Boeing 777 variants.
The maintenance agreement is the latest phase of a partnership struck between the two airlines in October 2012. Both carriers have a commercial alliance involving code sharing on flights across their networks over hubs in Abu Dhabi, Paris and Amsterdam. The wide-ranging codeshare agreement sees Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM offering joint codes on destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Jeff Wilkinson, Senior Vice-President Technical of Etihad Airways, said: “Through this latest phase in our relationship with Air France-KLM, we are confident Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance will provide easy, quick, reliable and cost-effective access to components for our triple seven aircraft which are the backbone of our rapidly-growing fleet.”
“It builds on an excellent commercial agreement we have enjoyed with Air France-KLM over the past three years helping provide the high level of efficiencies required in a competitive environment.”
Franck Terner, Executive Vice-President of Air France KLM Engineering & Maintenance, said: “We are very pleased with the trust placed by Etihad Airways in our services. This agreement further demonstrates the competitiveness of our component support offer, and AFI KLM E&M’s ability to tailor maintenance solutions exactly matching its customers’ needs.”
The agreement provides Etihad Airways with access to AFI KLM E&M’s extensive component maintenance network and a significant upgrade of service offering. Through its global MRO network, AFI KLM E&M will maintain pool stock in the UAE and around the world to support Etihad Airways’ 777 fleet. In addition, the partnership includes a framework for further collaboration with Etihad Airways’ partners and a tie-up with Etihad Airways Engineering for additional maintenance services.
Etihad Airways’ and Air France-KLM together provide a combined code share network of over 40 destinations. The strategic alliance is aimed at exploring areas of potential cooperation, including joint procurement, maintenance and repair collaboration to identify cost savings and achieve economies of scale.