Air Berlin PLC

EANS-News: Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG
The way is now clear for airberlin´s strategic partnership with Etihad Airways

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Capital measures/Capital increase - investment agreement Etihad Airways

Subtitle: • Mehdorn: "The beginning of a successful collaboration"
• Connecting flights from Berlin to Abu Dhabi added
• 24 codeshare flights, linked frequent flyer programs and mutual maintenance of
aircraft
• Working groups will identify synergies


London/Berlin (euro adhoc) - Following regulatory clearances by German and
Austrian authorities, airberlin, Germany´s second largest airline, and Etihad
Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have today finalised
the participation agreement entered into on 19th December 2011 which increased
Etihad Airways´ capital share of Air Berlin PLC. airberlin has received around
EUR73 million for the 31,574,312 shares issued for capital increase, based on a
fixed rate of EUR2.31 per share. Etihad Airways has now become the largest
single shareholder of airberlin. Etihad Airways´ minority share is composed of
the newly acquired shares (27.03%) and existing shares of 2.99% (before
dilution), which provides Etihad with a voting interest of 29.21%. 

airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said: "I am confident that this is the beginning
of a very successful collaboration which will benefit our customers and our
company. It opens up unique possibilities for joint future market development
and provides the prerequisite for increased synergy and cost optimisation."

The two companies have already formed joint working groups in order to achieve
results as quickly as possible. Mehdorn: "airberlin and Etihad Airways can learn
from one another, in order to better meet the needs of our passengers. The
addition of the flight to Abu Dhabi, the codeshare agreement, the mutual
recognition of frequent flyer programs and the mutual maintenance of aircraft in
Dusseldorf and Abu Dhabi will set a new pace - a challenge which airberlin and
Etihad Airways will meet together.

James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, said: "We are delighted that all the
regulatory approvals have been concluded successfully and we can now move
forward with plans to create an outstanding offering for passengers on our
combined network.  The partnership between Etihad Airways and airberlin will
have a positive market impact, stimulating competition and ultimately benefiting
passengers across the globe.  It is a significant milestone in our history and
the first step in what will be a very positive association over the coming
years."

Less than four weeks after the agreement between airberlin and Etihad Airways
had been signed, airberlin added Abu Dhabi to its flight schedule on 15th
January. Since then, an airberlin Airbus A330-200 has been flying non-stop from
Berlin to Abu Dhabi four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday).
Alongside the connections offered by Etihad Airways, this provides European
passengers with 29 flights per week operated by the strategic partners from four
German hubs (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich) with Abu Dhabi as a
destination or stopover. By mid-April of this year, the number of flights will
increase to 42 per week.

The start of this new service also marks the beginning of the codeshare
agreement concluded between the two airlines on 19th December 2011, which will
initially include 24 flights in the route network of both airlines and be
expanded gradually. The agreement currently includes the non-stop flights of
both partner airlines from Germany to Abu Dhabi and continuing connections from
Abu Dhabi to Bangkok, Male and Singapore. In addition, Etihad Airways offers the
airberlin flights to and from Basel, Catania, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Hanover,
Helsinki, Milan, Rome, Stuttgart, Venice and Zurich under an Etihad Airways
flight number. This is valid as of today (24th January) also for airberlin
flights from Dusseldorf to Miami, New York-JFK, Salzburg and Vienna. 

The airberlin flights from Berlin to Graz, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna will
also be marketed by Etihad Airways.

Within the framework of the codeshare flights, airberlin and Etihad Airways will
also connect their airberlin topbonus and Etihad Guest frequent flyer programs.
By integrating the frequent flyer programs, airberlin and Etihad Airways
customers can earn both awards and status miles on flights with the respective
partner airline.  Frequent fliers who are topbonus Silver or Gold cardholders
will enjoy additional status benefits. These include use of the partner
airline´s priority check-in counter, pre-boarding and extra baggage allowance on
Etihad Airways flights. Frequent flyers with a topbonus Gold Card can also
access the exclusive Etihad Airways lounges at Abu Dhabi, Dublin, Frankfurt,
London and Manchester. Silver, Gold or Gold Elite members of Etihad Guest who
are flying with airberlin will also receive the many benefits of airberlin's
topbonus frequent flyer program such as access to exclusive waiting areas. 

Business Class customers traveling to and from Abu Dhabi can take advantage of a
limousine service. Passengers within a 40 km radius of Berlin´s Tegel airport
will be picked up at home and brought to the airport by a chauffeur. After
arrival in Abu Dhabi, Business Class travelers have the opportunity to be driven
to any destination in the United Arab Emirates. This service is also available
for the return flight. The Etihad Airways codeshare connection from Germany to
Abu Dhabi gives Business Class passengers access to an airport transfer service
with private driver from Frankfurt and Munich within a radius of 40 kilometers
and from Dusseldorf within 60 kilometers.

In the course of establishing Etihad Airways` flights from Abu Dhabi to
Dusseldorf and airberlin´s flights to Abu Dhabi, the two companies have entered
into mutual maintenance agreements. In Dusseldorf, airberlin technik - the
aeronautical equipment service provider within the airberlin group - performs
the transit check on the Etihad Airways Airbus A330; Etihad Airways performs the
same task for airberlin aircrafts in Abu Dhabi.


Further inquiry note:
Uwe Berlinghoff 				      
Senior Vice President Communications airberlin	      
phone:  + 49 30 3434 1500 			
fax:    + 49 30 3434 1509
e-mail: abpresse@airberlin.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG
             The Hour House, High Street 32
             UK-WD3 1ER Rickmansworth, Herts
phone:       +49 (0)30 3434 1500
FAX:         +49 (0)30/3434-1509
mail:     abpresse@airberlin.com
WWW:      http://www.airberlin.com
sector:      Air Transport
ISIN:        GB00B128C026
indexes:     SDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, München, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart,
             regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt 
language:   English
 



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