TUI AG‘s Supervisory Board has given the green light for further steps with the goal to create a new European airline joint venture with Etihad Aviation Group. TUI Group’s supervisory body approved the plan to contribute its German leisure airline subsidiary TUI fly GmbH to a joint venture with Etihad. Etihad is in negotiations with airberlin to acquire its touristic operations primarily in Southern Europe and North Africa, and including airberlin’s participation in NIKI, with the objective to contribute it to the joint venture. The new airline joint venture, headquartered in Vienna, is planned to serve a broad route network with its two airlines, TUI fly and NIKI, a total fleet of around 60 aircraft and a seat capacity of 15 million seats per year, operating from key departure airports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. TUI AG is to hold a stake of 24.8% in the joint venture, with Etihad holding 25% of the interests. The remaining 50.2% would be held by the existing private foundation NIKI Privatstiftung. The commitments made to the TUI fly employees remain in place and are currently being further negotiated and specified. This includes the commitments to the Hanover location. The contractual negotiations between all involved stakeholders are expected to be finalised in the next few weeks. Details regarding the future joint venture will be jointly presented by Etihad and TUI after successful completion of the negotiations. The planned joint venture is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust and aviation authorities.
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