I must admit I was truly surprised that this hadn’t happened already. Northwest and Air France will finally start codesharing on each other’s flights from September 2.
Northwest fans will know that Northwest and KLM have been tied at the hip for years. In fact, KLM doesn’t even have a US website because all bookings are handled by Northwest. They split revenue on all transatlantic flights – that’s how close they are.
Well, Air France bought KLM at the end of 2003, so it should have been a natural that Northwest and Air France would start to cuddle up. Now Air France/KLM anchor the SkyTeam alliance in Europe while Northwest, Continental, and Delta do it from this side of the pond. So that’s why I was surprised that only now, 3 years after the merger, are Northwest and Air France getting together.
At first, it’s not worth much. They start only with codesharing on each other’s Detroit – Paris route on September 2. That means you can buy a Northwest ticket for the Air France flight and vice versa on that route only.
According to the press release, the meat of the agreement comes “later this fall” when they’ll start codesharing beyond Detroit and Paris. So Northwest customers will be able to buy a Northwest ticket from the US to places beyond Paris by connecting to Air France. The same goes from Air France customers wanting to travel beyond Minneapolis/St Paul or Detroit to other American destinations on an Air France ticket.