Berlin will become the new German headquarters for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates said today.
Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Hogan, announced the move, effective from June 1, this afternoon.
“Germany is the largest outbound travel market in Europe and a critically important part of our global network so it makes good business sense to be based in the country’s capital.
“This will also enable us to better leverage the benefits of our strategic partnership with airberlin,” Mr Hogan said.
In late December Etihad Airways increased its stake in airberlin to 29.21 per cent, making it the single biggest shareholder in Europe’s sixth largest airline.
Etihad Airways operates 25 flights a week between Germany and Abu Dhabi, servicing Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
In mid-January airberlin began flying from Berlin to Abu Dhabi four times a week and this will become a daily service from March 25, when it will also launch daily flights between Düsseldorf and the UAE capital.
Mr Hogan said moving the airline’s main German sales and marketing office from Munich to Berlin should also help stimulate local employment opportunities.
Currently, Etihad Airways has nearly 50 staff based in Germany while more than 150 German nationals work for the airline.
Etihad Airways will continue operate its three sales offices in Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.