German court rules against some Etihad-airberlin codeshares

A German court has ruled that Etihad Airways must cease its codeshare on 29 routes operated by partner airline airberlin, Germany’s second-largest carrier.

The decision, which takes effect Jan. 16 through the end of the current IATA winter schedule ending March 30, 2016, was denounced by Etihad, which said it would file an appeal next week.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which owns a 29.2% stake in airberlin, is still permitted to put its code on 50 other airberlin routes. But the court’s Dec. 30 announcement means that a temporary injunction granted in November, permitting the two airlines to continue all their codeshare flights through Jan. 15, 2016, ceases the next day.

According to the court ruling, codeshare requirements for the affected routes have not been fulfilled because they are not part of the air traffic rights agreement between Germany and the UAE.

“Etihad Airways is deeply disappointed by the German court’s decision handed down today,” Etihad said in a statement. “The social and economic damage to Germany by this decision is significant. The withdrawal of approval for codeshare services on 29 routes materially reduces competition and consumer choice within and beyond Germany and causes inconvenience to passengers.”

Etihad said it would continue to honor all booked itineraries.

Airberlin also emphasized that all previously booked codeshare flights would operate as planned.

“We continue to stand for competition in Germany and a better product offering for our customers,” the airline said in a statement.

Airberlin flies to 138 destinations and carried more than 31.7 million passengers in 2014. It is also a oneworld global alliance member.

Originally published on ATWOnline