MIAMI — Etihad Aviation Group and German leisure airline group TUI confirmed today they are in talks to create a strong European leisure airline group, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets.
The new company will focus on point-to-point flying to serve key tourist markets such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a statement said.
Under the proposal, the touristic operations of the Air Berlin group and the German TUIfly company would form a new leisure airline group, supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, and by TUI’s state-of-the-art distribution capacity.
This week, Etihad announced a wide-ranging restructuring program, shrinking Air Berlin’s fleet and route network, and handing over routes and aircraft to competitor Lufthansa in an effort to stem losses on its short and medium haul route network.
Air Berlin is now expected to slash 1,200 jobs and adjust its fleet to a core fleet of 75 aircraft based in Berlin and Düsseldorf from next summer.
The airline accumulated $1.34 billion in losses since 2012. In the second quarter of 2016. the airline’s losses widened to $99.8 million from $42 million in 2015.
Etihad and TUI did not give a date as to when the deal would be completed.