(Adds detail, background, Lufthansa CEO comment)
FRANKFURT, March 27 Lufthansa and
Cathay Pacific will sell tickets on some of each
other's routes, boosting the German group's Asia-Pacific network
and deepening a partnership in which the airlines already
cooperate on freight flights.
The tie-up announced by the companies on Monday highlights
the increasingly competitive nature of the sector, with
Lufthansa battling Gulf carriers on routes to Asia and Cathay
counting the cost of the advance of Chinese rivals that
contributed to its first full-year loss since 2008.
The deal is also the first code share agreement for
Lufthansa with an airline that is part of a rival alliance.
Lufthansa is a founding member of the Star Alliance while Cathay
is in Oneworld.
"So much is happening in our industry right now. That's why
we need partnerships," Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr
Lufthansa and rival Air France-KLM have called on
the European Commission to take action against the rapid
expansion and what they say are unfair practices of Gulf
carriers such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad.
Under the Cathay Pacific deal, Lufthansa and its Swiss and
Austrian Airlines businesses will place their code on Cathay
flights from Hong Kong to four destinations in Australia and New
Zealand from April 26.
In return, Cathay passengers will be able to buy tickets for
Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian flights from Frankfurt,
Duesseldorf and Zurich.
Lufthansa uses joint ventures in Asia, with All Nippon
Airways (ANA), Singapore Airways and Air China to boost its Asia
network, but a code-share deal is not as in-depth as those
Spohr said there are no plans to set up a full joint venture
with Cathay Pacific.
(Reporting by Patricia Uhlig; Writing by Victoria Bryan;
Editing by Maria Sheahan and David Goodman)