German court allows Etihad to continue most Air Berlin code shares

Etihad holds a 29 percent stake in Air Berlin, and is its biggest shareholder

Afp January 15, 2016

FRANKFURT: A German appeals court has allowed Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad to continue most of its code share flights with Air Berlin for the winter schedule ending in March.

In a statement issued late Thursday, the administrative court in Lueneburg ruled that Etihad should be allowed to continue its code share agreement for 26 international routes.

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But the court rejected Etihad's request to continue code-sharing on five domestic German routes.

The court said the international routes could continue as they were in accordance with a bilateral agreement between Germany and Abu Dhabi in 2000, while the five domestic routes were not covered.

Code-sharing is an arrangement between two or more airlines to market and operate a route jointly, thereby expanding each airline's network.

In October, the German Transport Ministry had announced that it would not approve 31 out of a total 83 flights shared by Etihad and Air Berlin after January 15, because they were not covered by a treaty between Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

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A lower court in Brunswick had upheld the ministry's decision at the end of December.

Etihad holds a 29 percent stake in Air Berlin, and is its biggest shareholder.


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