Air France-KLM and Jet Airways are close to forming a commercial joint venture, which will mean more synergies on routes and frequent flyer programs. The other aspects envisaged are “metal neutrality”, cargo and engineering assistance. 

The news about the upcoming deal was confirmed by KLM CEO Peter Elbers. According to him the two airlines are close to forming the joint venture, however he refused to commit to any specific deal. Elbers stated that “metal neutrality” is one of the options being discussed.  The term means a JV in which the airlines become effectively indifferent to which plane or ‘metal’ carries a passenger. It is also referred to as “virtual merger” in US law since it means that the partners work as closely as possible without actually merging. 

At present the two airlines operate under a code-sharing agreement.  

The JV will grant Jet Airways greater access to the western airspace without having to use its own aircraft. The carrier is also planning to broaden its India’s domestic routes by adding an additional 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft.