Airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest airline, has started direct flights to Abu Dhabi under a recent agreement that allowed the UAE’s Etihad Airways to increase its stake in the German carrier, Etihad’s CEO has said.
James Hogan said the service includes four flights a week between the German and UAE capitals on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
He said the two airlines have also implemented an extensive codeshare agreement, with Etihad codesharing on 36 of Aiberlin’s 171 destinations and Airberlin codesharing on 24 of Etihad’s 82 passenger destinations.
He said Etihad’s decision to increase its stake in Airberlin to 29.21 per cent made the largest single shareholder in that airline.
“The deal connects our two extensive networks and frequent flier programmes to offer 239 destinations across 77 countries,” Hogan said, quoted by Etihad’s monthly magazine, Etihadinflight.
“Through Airberlin, our customers gain immediate access to the broad and complementary European market, with outstanding connectivity options for customers of both airlines.”
Hogan said the Abu Dhabi government-owned Etihad now has a portfolio of 35 quality airline partners but added that the latest deal is its first equity investment in another airline. “It is one of the most important developments in Etihad Airways’ history and designed to give even greater choice and rewards.”