Qatar Airways and German rail company Deutsche Bahn have signed a codeshare agreement that will enable the Middle Eastern carrier’s passengers to connect from Frankfurt to eight cities across Germany.

The pact will enable Qatar Airways’ passengers to take rail connections from Frankfurt to Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

Qatar Airways operates twice-daily service from its Doha base to both Frankfurt and Munich, as well as a daily flight from Doha to Berlin. Cirium schedules data shows that Qatar Airways is the only airline to serve the three German cities from Doha. Lufthansa ended its flights between Germany and Qatar in 2017.

The announcement follows reports in the German press last month which quoted Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker as saying he would like to co-operate with Lufthansa. The two airlines do not currently have a codeshare agreement and Lufthansa has in the past been vocal in its criticism of Gulf carriers including Qatar Airways what it sees as unfair competition resulting from alleged state subsidies.

Al Baker states that the agreement with Deutsche Bahn “further strengthens the ties between Germany and Qatar”, noting that Qatar Airways has seen “significant growing demand” for flights between the two countries.

Qatar Airways also has a codeshare agreement in place with French rail company SNCF.