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Thu 11 Dec 2014 03:31 PM

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German gov't argues Air Berlin still European despite Etihad stake

European Commission is examining several foreign holdings in European airlines to see if they comply with rules

German gov't argues Air Berlin still European despite Etihad stake

Air Berlin is still a European airline despite the 29 percent stake held by Abu Dhabi's state-owned Etihad Airways, Germany's transport ministry said on Thursday, meaning that in German eyes it should keep its European operating licence.

The German air transport authority will issue a ruling along those lines with supporting documents soon, the ministry said.

The European Commission is examining several foreign holdings in European airlines to see if they comply with rules for operating in Europe, including a Delta stake in Britain's Virgin.

In order to obtain an operating licence in the EU as a European airline, a carrier must be more than 50 percent owned and "effectively controlled" by an EU state or EU citizens.

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