Etihad and Air Berlin announce major alliance

Etihad Airways has increased its stake from 2.9% to 30% in Germany's second largest airline (after Lufthansa) - Air Berlin. Starting from January 15 airberlin will fly to Abu Dhabi four times a week while Etihad will also be able to fly to Berlin - a city where neither Emirates nor Etihad currently have landing rights. This is a major expansion into Europe by Etihad and it is expected that Etihad will join the OneWorld Alliance of which Air Berlin is a major partner.

According to a statement released after the merger, "Air Berlin and Etihad Airways have started a strategic partnership. And that’s great news for all our guests! We now offer you a combined network of 239 destinations across 77 countries! A whole new world of choice for traveling to the Middle East, Africa and Australasia via Abu Dhabi."

Many destinations in Europe will now open up for travelers from the Middle East as codesharing between the two airlines will allow convenient connections between Etihad and Air Berlin.

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