Etihad says $105m Airberlin spend recouped

Airline alliance generates more than $131.78m in additional revenues.
NEWS, Aviation


Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it has already recouped its initial $105m investment in Airberlin, 12 months after announcing their alliance.

The airlines said in a statement that they generated more than €100m in additional revenues so far, outstripping initial estimates.

The partners also said that the year-old alliance has also delivered more than 300,000 passengers onto each other's networks.

The companies added they have also begun implementing a detailed procurement strategy to bring multi-million dollar savings for both airlines.

Hartmut Mehdorn, airberlin's CEO, said: "We have proven from day one that we were able to maximise the potential of our strategic partnership.

"With more than 219,000 additional guests for airberlin, coming from our co-operation we have generated additional revenues around €50m. Furthermore we profited from cost saving initiatives."

Etihad's president and CEO, James Hogan, added: "During this first 12 months both airlines' teams have worked tirelessly.

"Through revenues generated, and cost saving initiatives, Etihad Airways has already recouped its initial investment of $105m.

"More than 300,000 additional passengers have flowed into the networks of both airlines in 2012 and that figure is set to increase considerably in 2013 as the impact of closer cooperation across almost every division of each carrier comes to fruition."

airberlin and Etihad Airways announced earlier in the year that the airlines would integrate their Boeing 787 Dreamliner programmes.

The move, which involves 56 aircraft, will save millions of dollars for both carriers which together represent the largest single order for the Boeing 787.

Earlier on Tuesday, Etihad said it was buying a 70 percent stake in airberlin's frequent-flyer programme as the German airline seeks to cut costs and pay down debt.

Germany's number two airline after Lufthansa, which has not made an operating profit since 2007, said on Tuesday the deal to carve out the 'topbonus' programme would generate revenue of €184.4m ($242.70m).

The move comes a year after Etihad bought about 29 percent of airberlin and agreed to grant the loss-making German carrier up to $255m in loans.

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