Air France tightens Flybe links with extensive codeshare

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SkyTeam alliance partner Air France is forging an extensive co-operation pact with UK regional carrier Flybe, deepening the long-standing ties between the two airlines.

The new agreement involves a broad codeshare providing access to five more UK-French routes, seven domestic French connections and 11 other international services.

Flybe says the co-operation will take effect by the end of October, adding that it will allow better connections to Air France services at Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Through the codeshare Air France passengers will have access to 45 French-UK links, and 17 UK domestic routes.

"It allows us to offer an even wider range of flights to our passengers, as well as provide superb levels of interconnectivity that only an airline as big as Air France can offer," says Flybe chief Jim French.

The French flag-carrier has historic ties with Flybe, and the former British European operation, which included a franchise arrangement.

Air France chief commercial officer Bruno Matheu says the tie-up provides a "major opportunity" for the airline to "strengthen its position in the UK, Europe's biggest market".