Lufthansa and Etihad strengthen ties

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.