Etihad Approves TUI Joint Venture Airline
The Etihad Group board has approved plans to create a new leisure airline with European travel company TUI.
The joint venture, which was approved last month by TUI’s board, will merge the TUIfly airline with the leisure operations of Etihad part-owned carrier Air Berlin. The new carrier will operate leisure routes in Europe with a fleet of about 60 aircraft.
The plan includes Etihad acquiring the 49.8 percent of airline NIKI indirectly held by Air Berlin. The NIKI holding will then be merged with TUIfly to form the new airline.
Etihad will have a 25 percent stake in the JV, TUI 24.8 percent, with the remainder held by a private Austrian foundation.
The new airline will have its headquarters in Vienna and will begin operations in April 2017.
The joint venture airline is subject to regulatory approval.