German aviation authorities are again questioning the continuation of codeshare routes for the upcoming winter schedule betweenEtihad Airways and its strategic equity partnerairberlin. The affected routes are between Germany and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad is airberlin’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in its oneworld partner.
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Last October, German aviation authorities cleared the continuation of 34 codeshareoperations of airberlin and Etihad between Germany and Abu Dhabi. The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA) had previously denied the continuation of codeshare routes for the coming winter schedule, effective at the end of October.
The German federal aviation authority checks codeshare deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. Airberlin received permission for the summer schedule early this year, CEO Stefan Pichler told ATW in March.
Airberlin spokesperson Aage Duenhaupt said the next round of talks on traffic rights between the governments of Germany and the United Arab Emirates may start by the end of April. Airberlin hopes to find a general solution for a permanent codeshare agreement without the continued questioning.
Separately, Duenhaupt confirmed to ATW that the carrier is not looking for new investors, as reported in some German media outlets. There are also no plans to request additional financial help from Etihad, he said.
Oneworld member airberlin reported a third-quarter 2014 net profit of €49.9 million ($62.2 million), down 50.5% compared to a net profit of €101 million in the year-ago period as it continues cost-cutting measures.
Airberlin’s preliminary operating result (EBIT) presented on March 26 stands at a loss of €278.8 to 303.8 million in the 2014 fiscal year, narrowed from a loss of €231.9 million year-over-year. The carrier said 2014 was dominated by high restructuring costs. Total revenue for 2014 was €4.16 billion (2013: €4.15 billion), up 0.3% from the previous year.
Airberlin CEO Stefan Pichler, who took the helm Feb. 1 to move the company forward with its restructuring program, said the company should again achieve an operating profit in 2016.