Etihad Airways has become the largest stakeholder in Germany’s second largest airline, Air Berlin.
As per the deal that was signed by the two airlines on Monday, Abu Dhabi Airport based Etihad Airways will furnish $255 million for the fleet improvement and network growth at Air Berlin and in return will acquire two seats on the board of directors of Air Berlin.
The deal also covers a code share agreement that grants Etihad Airways access to Air Berlin’s European short-distance network, and to the German capital of Berlin.
Air Berlin has decided to shift its Middle East operation from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and will operate flights to Abu Dhabi from Berlin four times a week. According to the agreement, from January 15, 2012 the German carrier Air Berlin will operate four A330-200 flights to Abu Dhabi per week. This service will grant the European travellers access to 29 flights per week between Abu Dhabi and four German hubs.
The agreement between the two airlines will perhaps be worthwhile for the budget-oriented European and Middle East travellers seeking cheap flight tickets to travel between two destinations. A further rise in flight frequency which is planned by mid April is sure to assist travellers in landing up with cheap flight tickets.
As per Air Berlin’s website “Etihad Guest and topbonus, the airlines’ frequent flyer programs, will be integrated, enabling passengers of both airlines to ‘earn and burn’ on each other’s flights and offering reciprocal benefits - including status earning - to top tier members”.
Etihad Airways has raised its stake in Air Berlin from 2.99 percent to 29.2 percent, followed by the ESAS, Pegasus Airlines’ parent company.