S7 Airlines, Russia’s largest domestic carrier, today announced a major expansion of its European network through code-share agreements with Air Berlin, one of Europe’s fastest-growing airlines, and Austria’s NIKI, the airline of former Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda.
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest carrier, and its partner NIKI signed the agreement in Moscow today (October 16, 2008). It provides for the sharing of existing services, subject to official approval, on the following routes: Moscow-Frankfurt-am-Main(flights operated by S7 Airlines), Moscow-Dusseldorf (flights operated by S7 Airlines and Air Berlin), Moscow-Munich (flights operated by S7 Airlines and Air Berlin), Moscow-Hanover (flights operated by S7 Airlines) and Moscow-Vienna, Austria (flights operated by NIKI).
The agreements will allow all three airlines to significantly expand the services they offer their passengers. The three carriers plan to offer unrestricted sales of tickets for each other’s flights. For instance, S7 Airlines and Air Berlin will be able to offer up to seven flights to Germany a day depending on the destination. S7 Airlines’ passengers will be able to book tickets directly with S7 to many cities in the flight network of Air Berlin and NIKI airlines.
Within the scope of the code-share agreement, the airlines have, therefore, agreed pro rata agreements on many routes. For example, passengers can now travel from Moscow via Munich to Palma de Majorca on just a single ticket.
This agreement is a significant stage in the development of all three airlines – S7 Airlines, Air Berlin and NIKI. All three airlines intend to deepen their relationship in other areas in the future.
Vladislav Filev, general director, S7 Airlines, said, “S7 Airlines has been looking for ways of efficient international development for a long time. Competition is high on international routes, and opening new international destinations for S7 is limited by bilateral agreements. Code-share cooperation with large international airlines yields a lot of opportunities for S7 Airlines in Europe. We have the most extensive domestic flights network in Russia, and we are also ready to cooperate efficiently in Western Europe.”
“This partnership allows us to strengthen our Russian operations considerably and to offer our passengers a greater choice of routes and more frequent flights to and from Russia. S7 Airlines is a Russian carrier of high quality and with strong growth,” commented Air Berlin’s CEO Joachim Hunold.
“We are delighted that in S7 Airlines we have acquired one of the major international Russian airlines as a strong partner for our flights to and from Russia,” was the verdict of Niki Lauda, president of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH.
Previously S7 Airlines and Air Berlin have agreed an interline agreement, allowing for seamless ticketing arrangements for passengers on both airlines.