18 JANUARY 2016

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Article from BTNews 18 JANUARY 2016

German Court sides with Airberlin

Airberlin has quickly won a court appeal over codesharing rights with Etihad Airways, reversing an earlier judgment (see BTN 11 January) allowing the two carriers to continue operating 26 out of 31 codeshare flights for the full winter schedule.

Together with the other 50 approved Etihad-airberlin codeshares, 76 of the 81 are now approved.  The other five codeshares are on German domestic routes.

The Higher Administrative Court said in a statement it is ordering the German Aviation Authority to approve and allow the disputed codeshare routes.

The court’s interpretation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Germany air services agreement also means Etihad will be able to continue with all those codeshares until the end of the current IATA winter schedule ending 26 March 2016.

James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad, said: “This ruling is a victory for consumers and competition in Germany.  We remain strongly committed to our strategic partner, airberlin, and will redouble our efforts to provide a strong competitive alternative to the dominant German carrier, Lufthansa.”

Stefan Pichler, CEO of Airberlin, said that the decision confirms its current approach. “Based on this decisive ruling, airberlin and Etihad can face the future optimistically”.    www.airberlin.com

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