Leading airlines enter partnership

26 Dec 2011

Etihad Airways has entered into a code-sharing agreement with struggling German carrier Air Berlin. The two airlines both fly to Bangkok and with the forthcoming merger of services will serve 239 airports in 77 countries.

Air Berlin is in the process of moving its Middle East operations hub from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. In line with the move, on January 15 the carrier will commence service between Berlin and Abu Dhabi with four flights a week. The additional route will offer passengers easy access to Bangkok and other destinations in Asia and the Middle East as well as Africa and Australia.

Since its founding in 2003, Etihad Airways has evolved into one of the Middle East’s leading carriers. Late last week it announced it wanted to increase its holding in Air Berlin to 29 per cent in a bid to expand its European and Asian presence.

The deal will enable Etihad to compete with its Middle Eastern rivals Qatar Airways and Emirates. Air Berlin is Germany’s second biggest airline and the cash injection, and a $US250 million loan agreement, will help solve its financial worries and enable it to compete with Lufthansa, Germany’s national flag carrier, on an equal footing.  

The increase in destinations will allow fliers to buy one ticket for the whole of their trip and also to collect shared air miles and other benefits. Etihad’s network will also be supplemented by code-sharing with Air Berlin’s partners, Zurich based Belair and Austrian low cost carrier Niki Luftfahrt. 

Tags: airlines partnership

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