Following the speculation that easyJet and TUI might get together–a prospect TUI’s management quickly dashed–we’ve now learned that TUI is aiming more upscale than budget for its alliances.
Etihad Aviation Group and TUI AG have confirmed that they are in discussions to create a new European leisure airline group, which will focus on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets.
Subject to regulatory approval, the partnership would include a wet-lease agreement which would put TUIfly aircraft into service for airberlin, as part of a new TUI AG and Etihad Aviation Group, serving a broad network of destinations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Etihad also references TUI’s “state-of-the-art distribution capacity” as an advantage of the deal.
No date is set, but Etihad says TUI AG, Etihad Aviation Group and Air Berlin PLC plan “to finalise an in-principle agreement in due course.”
So what do you think? Is Etihad a better future partner for TUI than easyJet would have been? Will this further complicate matters at airberlin? Share your comments below.