: The Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) board has approved plans to create a European leisure airline with Germany’s travel empire, TUI AG.
Tipped to be named Blue Sky, it is planned to have up to 60 single aisle aircraft that will offer 15 million seats a year and focus on point-to-point leisure travel originating from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
EAG said its subsidiary, Etihad Investment Holding Company LLC (ETIHAD), would acquire the 49.8% share indirectly held by airberlin in its subsidiary airline, Austrian-based
GmbH. When the ownership transition is concluded, Etihad will immediately contribute the share in NIKI to the new European leisure airline group and will not effectively control, or become a majority owner, of NIKI.
TUI’s subsidiary TUIfly GmbH will be part of the joint venture, including the 14 aircraft currently operated by TUIfly for airberlin under a wet-lease agreement.