Air France-KLM and MSC Cruises step up existing partnership to better serve cruise aficionados

Air France-KLM, the leading Group in terms of international traffic on departure from Europe, and MSC Cruises, MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, are expanding their partnership to offer exclusive services and greater flexibility to clients booking "Fly&Cruise packages."

Cruise passengers will progressively be able to combine their cruise with flights operated by Air France, KLM and HOP! Air France. They will, therefore, benefit from a broader choice of departure airports and an array of additional services for a streamlined travel experience, including dedicated check-in areas and more. The new memorandum of understanding extends and strengthens the existing partnership between Air France-KLM and MSC Cruises.

Patrick Alexandre, Air France-KLM Executive Vice President, Commercial, Sales and Alliances, commented: "Air France-KLM is proud to enhance its current cooperation with MSC Cruises. By partnering together, we will provide our mutual guests with a seamless and most enjoyable flight and cruise experience. This three year contract is a best-in-class example of what Air France-KLM wants to build with key partners: share the long term vision to grow together." Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ Chief Executive Officer, added: "We are delighted to further extend our partnership with Air France-KLM. As Fly&Cruise packages are ever more instrumental in providing an all-inclusive and consistent cruise experience, more of our guests can now benefit from Air France-KLM’s and our Company's impeccable joint-service from the minute they leave their homes."

A broader, more accessible choice of departure airports

Through the expanded partnership, Air France-KLM and MSC Cruises are committing to offer the best possible travel experience for their customers, worldwide. With the vast route network available through the Air France-KLM group, a greater number of international passengers will be able to benefit from a broader choice of departure airports to help them sign up to cruises operated by MSC Cruises.

Whereas the original agreement mainly concerned flights to destinations outside France, under the new, three-year memorandum of understanding, customers will be able to select their departure airport from those used by the Air France-KLM group when they fly to join their cruise ship.

Fly&Cruise packages have already proved their worth among MSC Cruises customers. Since 2012, the number of packages sold has trebled and is forecast to grow by 60% in the next two years. By the end of 2017, close to 250,000 MSC Cruises customers are likely to opt for a cruise package that includes a flight operated by Air France, KLM or HOP! Air France – airlines of the Air France-KLM group.

The finest possible travel experience throughout the trip

Customers booking an MSC Cruises “Fly&Cruise” package will also be able to choose their cabin class (Business, Premium Economy or Economy) aboard Air France long-haul flights, and World Business Class or Economy Class aboard KLM flights.

By travelling on Air France Business Class and World Business Class of KLM, this includes access to Business Class lounges, fast-track dedicated check-in at many airports, and a host of other benefits before and after their flight, including two checked items of baggage and two cabin bags per person, and the possibility of earning Air Miles through the Air France-KLM Flying Blue frequent flyer programme.

About Air France-KLM

A global giant with a strong European base, the Air France-KLM Group’s main areas of business are passenger transport, cargo transport and aeronautical maintenance.

Air France-KLM is the leading Group in terms of international traffic on departure from Europe. In 2017, it offers its customers access to a network covering 328 destinations in 118 countries thanks to its four brands Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Transavia and HOP! Air France. With a fleet of 534 aircraft in operation and 93.4 million passengers carried in 2016, Air France-KLM operates up to 2,300 daily flights, mainly from its hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Its Flying Blue frequent flyer programme is one of the leaders in Europe with over 27 million members.

Air France-KLM and its partners Delta Air Lines and Alitalia operate the biggest trans-Atlantic joint venture with over 270 daily flights.

Air France-KLM is also a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which has 20 member airlines offering customers access to a global network of over 17,000 daily flights to more than 1,060 destinations in 177 countries.