×

UPDATE 1-India's Jet, Air France-KLM announce tie-up to boost traffic

* Jet, Air France-KLM sign agreement in Mumbai

* Plan is to boost traffic to Europe and then North America

* Potential challenge to Jet shareholder Etihad (Adds agreement details, comments from Jet's chairman)

MUMBAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - India's Jet Airways and Air France-KLM announced a partnership to route more traffic through Europe and on to North America, in a potential challenge to Gulf carrier Etihad Airways that is a shareholder in Jet.

Indian international air traffic is booming, but much of the growth has been captured by the three big Gulf carriers including Etihad, which owns 24 percent of Jet.

The "enhanced cooperation agreement" with Air France-KLM, signed on Wednesday in India's financial capital Mumbai, is designed to route more traffic and expand the number of flights to Europe and then onwards to the United States.

The agreement also includes Delta Air Lines, with which Air France KLM has an existing partnership.

International carriers are increasingly tying up on routes in the face of rising competition.

The Gulf will continue to be an important market and Jet will not reduce its operations there, Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet, told reporters.

He added that Jet had a "great relationship with Etihad" and that would continue.

Etihad was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Additional reporting by Jamie Freed in SINGAPORE, Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Himani Sarkar)