German Court Reverses Course on Etihad and airberlin Codeshares

etihad and airberlin
Photo by airberlin/RAPP

A higher administrative court in Luneburg, Germany, has reversed an earlier judgement regarding codeshares between Etihad Airways and airberlin, allowing Etihad to continue operating 26 out of the 31 codeshare flights for its full winter schedule. The winter schedule ends March 26. 

The court definitively ruled that 26 of the 31 codeshares are lawful. Together with the other 50 approved codeshares with airberlin, 76 of the 81 codeshares are now approved, representing 94 percent of the codeshares applied for, Etihad said in a statement announcing the decision. The other five codeshares are on German domestic routes.

The court's interpretation of the UAE-Germany Air Services Agreement also means that Etihad Airways will be able to continue with all those codeshares beyond the winter schedule, Etihad said. 

Etihad had gained a 29.2 per cent stake in airberlin in 2011, and received approval for codeshare services on a total of 63 air routes. In the summer of 2014, the German Ministry of Transport raised concerns about 29 of the codeshares, and in November 2015 had only approved the 29 codeshares until January 15, 2016. 

Then, in late December 2015, a German court ruled that the routes were not covered under an air traffic rights agreement between Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Etihad appealed the decision.