German airline Air Berlin said today it would discuss transferring part of its fleet to a new group founded by package tour giant TUI and Gulf carrier Etihad as part of a major overhaul.
Air Berlin will discuss bringing 35 of its aircraft, including 14 already leased from TUI subsidiary TUIfly, into a “new airline group to be founded by the TUI group and Etihad”, it said in a statement.
The plans remain subject to negotiation and regulatory approval, the statement continued.
In a separate statement, Etihad said “the new airline group would serve a comprehensive route network from Germany, Austria and Switzerland”.
Air Berlin shareholder Etihad has kept the struggling airline alive with regular cash injections in recent years.
The German company suffered a record loss of 447 million euros (USD 500 million) in 2015.
Air Berlin a week ago announced a major restructuring that would see it shrink its fleet from 144 planes to 75 and cut 1,200 jobs, saying it would focus on its core business areas in a bid to return to profitability.
In future, Air Berlin said it would concentrate on its hubs of Berlin and Duesseldorf, building out long-haul routes with new destinations and more frequent flights, especially to the United States.