The Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) Board has approved plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG, with a fleet of around 60 aircraft, offering 15 million seats capacity per year, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key European tourist markets. The transaction is subject to approvals by aviation regulatory bodies and anti-trust authorities.
planned transaction includes an agreement for EAG’s subsidiary Etihad
Investment Holding Company LLC (Etihad) to acquire the 49.8 per cent share
indirectly held by airberlin in its subsidiary airline NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH. At
closing of the transaction, Etihad will immediately contribute the share in
NIKI to the new European leisure airline group and will not effectively
control, or become a majority owner of NIKI. TUI will contribute its subsidiary
TUIfly GmbH to the joint venture, including the 14 aircraft currently operated
by TUIfly for airberlin under a wet-lease agreement.
follows approval on Wednesday 23 November 2016 by TUI AG’s Supervisory Board.
AG will hold 24.8 per cent of shares in the joint venture company, with Etihad
holding a 25 per cent stake. The remaining 50.2 per cent will continue to be
held by the existing private foundation NIKI Privatstiftung.
new leisure airline group, headquartered in Vienna, is scheduled to begin
operations in April 2017, the start of the summer season, serving a broad
network of destinations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Hanover, Berlin,
Düsseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremberg, Baden-Baden,
Hamburg, Basel and Vienna). Key markets will include the Balearics, Canaries,
mainland Spain and Greece.
joint venture will be supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, the
fastest-growing aviation group in the world, and TUI Group, the world’s leading
tourism business with a strong focus on hotels and cruises. It will be able to leverage synergies and
economies of scale accessible through Etihad Airways Partners and the TUI Group
to ensure a lean overhead structure and competitive production cost.
details regarding the future joint venture will be jointly presented by Etihad
and TUI after successful completion of the negotiations.