Exclusive Top Court Approves Air Berlin-Etihad Code Shares

A top German state court on Thursday evening cleared 24 of 29 code-sharing flights between Air Berlin and its partner Etihad that had been challenged by the German government. The court decision was confirmed to Handelsblatt by a spokesperson of Air Berlin. The decision by the Higher Administrative Court of Lower Saxony, based in Lüneburg, reportedly cannot be appealed. The ruling is a major blow to German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, who had sought to block the code-sharing deal and instructed authorities to ban the flights from taking place beyond Friday. Air Berlin and Etihad had been continuing to carry out the code shares until a final court decision was reached.