Airberlin has won a court appeal over codesharing rights with Etihad Airways, reversing an earlier judgment and allowing the two carriers to continue operating 26 out of 31 codeshare flights for the full winter schedule.
Together with the other 50 approved Etihad-airberlin codeshares, 76 of the 81 are now approved. The other five codeshares are on German domestic routes.
The Higher Administrative Court said in a statement it is ordering the German Aviation Authority to approve and allow the disputed codeshare routes.
The court’s interpretation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Germany air services agreement also means Etihad will be able to continue with all those codeshares until the end of the current IATA winter schedule ending March 26, 2016.
Etihad president and CEO James Hogan said, “This ruling is a victory for consumers and competition in Germany. We remain strongly committed to our strategic partner, airberlin, and will redouble our efforts to provide a strong competitive alternative to the dominant German carrier, Lufthansa.”
He also said, “We would like to encourage German consumers to support airberlin and its 8,000 staff, who have been seriously damaged by this sustained attack on their business.”
Airberlin CEO Stefan Pichler said the decision confirms its current approach. “Based on this decisive ruling, airberlin and Etihad can face the future optimistically and will continue to grow their partnership in a sustainable manner.”