Today the German Federal Aviation Authority LBA (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt) has revoked important flight rights of Etihad Airways and Air Berlin. The dispute is around 34 codeshare flights flown by Air Berlin mainly from the german capital to other european destinations. The authority now denies the continuation of these flights for the coming winter season.
LBA has granted codeshare operations six times in the past three years. Stakeholder Etihad has putted its own EY code on these flights for instance from Berlin to Helsinki. So Air Berlin flights are better utilized and Etihad can offer its customers a broader network, the airlines told. In total there are 60 codeshare flights.
Air Berlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer commented: “This is a wrong step and it will endanger jobs in Germany. Further growth will happen outside Germany and strengthen hubs in other countries. For German airports, this will result in the loss of attractive flights and less growth.” The Department or the Federal Aviation Authority doesn’t want to officially comment on details. Prock-Schauer said he will use legal steps to fight against the LBA decision.
In Germany Etihad flies to Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf. Air Berlin is flying from Berlin-Tegel to Abu Dhabi and soon also from Stuttgart and Hamburg to Abu Dhabi.
Etihad is Air Berlin’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in the oneworld partner.