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Gulf airline Etihad, Air France-KLM announce flight-sharing partnership

DUBAI -- Rapidly expanding Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has agreed to jointly market some of its flights with Air France-KLM in what could be the beginning of a larger strategic alliance, the airlines said Monday.

The deal for now covers codesharing on flights between Etihad's hub in the United Arab Emirates' capital Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam and Paris, as well as some connecting flights to European, Asian and Australian destinations.

Codeshare deals, in which passengers can buy a single ticket to fly on multiple airlines, are common in the airline industry. They allow carriers to expand their reach without having to launch or acquire the right to operate additional routes.

Etihad, though, is suggesting the agreement may lead to deeper ties with the Franco-Dutch airline operator.

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