TUI and Etihad in talks to create new airline group.
- An opportunity for destination Sint Maarten
Etihad Aviation Group and TUI AG are in discussions to create a 'strong European leisure airline group, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets'.
This new airline group would serve a broad network of destinations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and could see Air Berlin merge with TUIFly.
Air Berlin, the second largest carrier in Germany, is in the middle of a restructure and reports say it has agreed to discuss a transfer of its tourism operations to the new Etihad/TUI airline.
Etihad Airways is Air Berlin's biggest shareholder, with a 29.21% stake.
Etihad and TUI issued a statement saying: "The leisure airline group will be supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, the fastest-growing aviation group in the world, and utilise TUI's state-of-the-art distribution capacity.
"TUI AG, Etihad Aviation Group and Air Berlin PLC intend to finalise an in-principle agreement in due course. Any agreement entered into will be subject to all necessary corporate and regulatory approvals." (TravelMole)
SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REVIEW: Airlines around the world continue to consolidate their positions by merging together in order to strengthen their business to be able to compete with other airline groups who have followed the same path.
This new merger is something for Sint Maarten aviation authorities to look into. Attracting additional airlift is always an on-going effort which must be maintained as there are many destinations within the Caribbean Basin that are also competing for the same business.