French airline Air France-KLM, which operates in Europe and Asia, announced a major new partnership with India Airlines, the largest domestic carrier in the world.
The announcement of the alliance, announced Monday, came after Air France announced that it had agreed to buy a 40 percent stake in Indian carrier Air India, valued at around Rs.6,000 crore ($1.2 billion).
The airline, which has more than 200 million passengers, announced the partnership at its Paris headquarters.
The airline plans to launch services between the two countries by the end of 2019.
Air France-KR says it will take a majority stake in Air India in 2019.
It said in a statement that the airline is “deeply committed to the Indian market.”
The airline said it will provide air services to a number of destinations including destinations of the Indian government.
In September, Air India and the French carrier agreed to a $5.8 billion agreement, worth around $1.5 billion, to sell a 50 percent stake of Air India to French-based group CAA for a total value of $10 billion.
The deal also includes the purchase of a stake in CAA’s other parent, Air France.
Air India has also agreed to sell its stake in the Air France Group to CAA, the airline said.CAA has more recently announced that its Indian subsidiary Air India Bhd is looking to sell up to 40 percent of its stake to Indian airline SpiceJet.
The Air India-SpiceJet deal will allow SpiceJet to be a bigger and better airline than it was in 2015.
SpiceJet’s market share in India fell from 36 percent to 22 percent from 2014 to 2016, and the airline now operates mostly in the Northeast and the Western subcontinent.
AirIndia is India’s largest domestic airline and operates in the Indian subcontents and the Middle East.
Its network includes domestic and international routes, as well as international services to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.