Air France deal to boost long-haul routes

Air France has signed a new joint venture deal with Vietnam Airlines and is in advanced talks with India’s Jet Airways.

Air France and Vietnam Airlines have signed a strategic partnership allowing the two airlines to optimise their services between France, Europe and Vietnam.

The joint venture, due to start from November, builds on a code share agreement that has been in place since 2010 when Vietnam Airlines joined the SkyTeam Global Alliance.

Air France currently serves Ho Chi Minh City three times a week from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and offers a daily code share flight between Paris and Hanoi operated by Vietnam Airlines.

Vietnam Airlines passengers will now be able to connect to 70 European destinations, up from 14, while Air France passengers will be able to reach 20 locations in Vietnam, up from three. The move is part of Air France's drive to better compete with Gulf carriers.

“This joint venture agreement will be a long-term source of value for our customers and for our two airlines,” said Franck Terner, chief executive of Air France.

“Our aim is to maintain and develop our position as European leader in this region with very strong growth potential.”

Terner also told news agency Reuters that Air France is advanced talks with India’s Jet Airways to strengthen co-operation between the two airlines.

The joint venture with Vietnam Airlines comes just days after low-cost carrier Vietjet and Qatar Airways entered an interline partnership that will extend Gulf airline’s network to an additional eight cities in the fast-growing Vietnam market.

Air France's Paris CDG routes to Asia (Q4 2017):

Air France Asia routes Q417

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