Etihad-airberlin codeshare deal hit by German court

Etihad-airberlin codeshare deal hit by German court

A court in Germany has ruled that Etihad Airways and airberlin cannot continue codesharing arrangements on some of their routes beyond mid-January.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad holds a 29.2 per cent stake in Germany’s second-largest airline and their codesharing provides important income for airberlin.

However, the German government has argued some of the routes are not covered by an aviation agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

The problem involves 29 routes, with more than 50 others unaffected.

German authorities in October approved the disputed codeshares through January 15th, saying they were giving the companies time to find a solution.

Etihad sought a ruling from an administrative court in Braunschweig extending that permission to the end of the winter timetable in late March.

However, the court said Wednesday it had rejected the application.

In a statement Etihad said: “Etihad Airways is deeply disappointed by the German court’s decision handed down today.

“We are reviewing the judgement and will file an appeal against the decision early next week.

“The social and economic damage to Germany by this decision is significant.”

Etihad argued the withdrawal of approval for codeshare services on 29 routes materially reduces competition and consumer choice within and beyond Germany.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said it would continue to honour all booked itineraries.