Court ruling definitive on Etihad Airways-airberlin codeshare dispute

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-10

Etihad Airways today welcomed the ruling by the higher administrative court in Luneburg reversing an earlier judgment and allowing it to continue operating 26 out of the 31 codeshare flights for the full Winter Schedule, which ends on 26 March 2016.

The court definitively ruled that 26 of the 31 codeshares are lawful. Together with the other 50 approved codeshares with airberlin, 76 of the 81 codeshares are now approved once and for all, that is 94 per cent of the codeshares applied for. The other five codeshares are on German domestic routes.

The court’s interpretation of the UAE-Germany Air Services Agreement also means that Etihad Airways will be able to continue with all those codeshares beyond the Winter Schedule.

Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said:

“We are pleased with the ruling which confirms 94 per cent of Etihad Airways’ codeshares. 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. We would like to encourage German consumers to support airberlin and its 8,000 staff, who have been seriously damaged by this sustained attack on their business.”

Stefan Pichler, airberlin Chief Executive Officer, said:

“This is a good result for airberlin. We’re delighted with the decision and regard it as confirmation of our current approach. The verdict sends a positive signal to our consumers and is a victory for increased competition in the German aviation market, meaning that German passengers can continue to enjoy freedom of choice. Based on this decisive ruling, airberlin and Etihad Airways can face the future optimistically and will continue to grow their partnership in a sustainable manner.”

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