Air France and Aeroflot said they agreed to intensify a partnership that could lead to Aeroflot joining the French carrier's alliance with Delta Air Lines Inc.
The two carriers, which have cooperated since 1997, will deepen ties in passenger and cargo services, coordinating flight schedules and landing times.
Aeroflot aims to join the Air France-Delta alliance as the Russian carrier focuses on reviving earnings. Aeroflot, hurt by the plunge of the ruble in 1998, has been trying to cut costs by using its fleet more effectively, to offset rising fuel prices and unprofitable flights.
The two companies will start working to deepen ties immediately, as will both Delta and Air France begin pumping money into the airline in hopes of updating its fleet of aircraft.