Lufthansa Seeks Deeper Ties With Jet Airways to Lure Indian Flyers

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, competing with the Middle East’s biggest carriers to carry Indian international traffic, said it will seek to expand ties with Jet Airways (India) Ltd., which will help its customers get access to more connecting flights in the South Asian country.

Lufthansa, which is deepening its partnership with Etihad Airways PJSC, connects Germany with five Indian cities and customers will then be able to fly Jet Airways for their onward journey to other places within the country, Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr told reporters in New Delhi. Etihad owns 24 percent of Mumbai-based Jet Airways.

“We have connecting flights from Jet on arrival in five key cities we serve ourselves,” he said. “So there’s room for improving that.”

Lufthansa, seeking a bigger slice of the Indian passenger traffic, wants to lure more flyers to and from the nation’s second-tier cities with convenient connecting services offered by Jet Airways. The Cologne, Germany-based airline sees growth coming from beyond the five major Indian cities it flies to, Wolfgang Will, Lufthansa’s senior director for South Asia told reporters separately.

Long-time adversaries Lufthansa and Etihad said earlier this month that they are targeting deeper tie-ups in cargo, procurement, information technology and new code-share routes, and could form a full joint venture. The German carrier said it’s also open to cooperation with Alitalia SpA, in which Etihad has a 49 percent stake.

“Etihad Group is an investor in Jet Airways,” Spohr said. “So when we look to intensify our cooperation with Etihad, we are also looking to intensify our bilateral relations between Jet Airways and Lufthansa.”

— With assistance by Richard Weiss

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