September 27, 2019 / 2:01 PM / 2 months ago

Lufthansa seeks more code-share agreements with airlines in India

FILE PHOTO: Deutsche Lufthansa sign is seen in front of the airport terminal at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) is seeking more airlines to partner with in India for code-sharing agreements to expand its presence in the country, a senior company executive told Reuters on Friday.

Lufthansa is focusing on growing its network in India in part because of the grounding of the country’s biggest private carrier Jet Airways (JET.NS) which stopped flying in April after running out of cash.

The German airline, which already has a code-share agreement with state-run carrier Air India, has an interline agreement with Vistara, a full service carrier owned by the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI), which it is keen to expand, Alain Chisari, vice president, Asia Pacific, Lufthansa Group, said.

“Vistara fits really well with our product portfolio because they’ve got the premium proposition as well. We are looking forward to expanding the relationship with Vistara but also other partners,” he said in an interview in New Delhi.

Airlines with interline agreements share things such as check-in and baggage handling, while code shares allow airlines to market flights to each others customers.

Chisari declined to comment on whether Lufthansa is in talks with Vistara for a code-share agreement.  

The German group is encouraged by the growth in passenger numbers flying to international destinations from India. India’s outbound passenger number grew to 25.5 million a year in 2018 from 18.4 million in 2015.

“The growth, the potential, the economy, the distribution of purchasing power is so promising for us,” said Chisari, adding that he would also like to bring other group carriers like Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines to India.

Additional reporting by Jamie Freed in SINGAPORE. Editing by Jane Merriman

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