Air Berlin and TUI strategic allianceTUI and Air Berlin seal strategic alliance
TUI Travel PLC and Air Berlin PLC are to enter into a long-term strategic partnership for their German flight business. A corresponding agreement was signed today.
The agreement is based on a cross ownership in which TUI Travel PLC through a subsidiary, will have an interest of 19.9 percent in Air Berlin PLC and vice versa Air Berlin PLC will hold 19.9 percent of Hapag-Lloyd Fluggesellschaft mbH/TUIfly. The Supervisory Boards of Air Berlin, TUI Travel PLC and TUI AG have already approved of the plan. Provided the competition authorities approve of our intention, the transfer of economic responsibility will take effect as of 1 October. Until then nothing will change for the customers of both airlines. When the agreement is coming into effect the former TUIfly city routes will be operated under the flight number and product standard of Air Berlin. The tourism business will be marketed unchanged under the TUIfly brand.
The central component of the agreement is for the previous city flight business of TUIfly to be transferred to become the commercial responsibility of Air Berlin starting with the winter flight schedule 2009/10. Of the in total 38 aircraft that TUIfly will operate from 2010, 17 planes will be chartered to Air Berlin via a long term wet lease (i.e. including the crews). The remaining 21 aircraft will be operated in future under the TUIfly brand purely for TUI Deutschland tourism flights.
Concerning the strategic alliance with TUIfly, Joachim Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin PLC, stated: "This strategic alliance gives Air Berlin access to three economically highly interesting markets: Cologne, Stuttgart and Italy. In this manner, Air Berlin can expand its European as well as its domestic route network, which is especially important to our business passengers. At the same time, the position of TUIfly and Air Berlin will improve in this challenging economic environment."