January 14, 2016 / 6:16 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Court allows Etihad to continue most Air Berlin code shares

* German court says Etihad may continue international code share

* German court rejects domestic code share routes with Air Berlin

* Court grants 26 routes, rejects 5 (Adds reasoning by the court)

FRANKFURT, Jan 14 (Reuters) - An appeals court in Germany on Thursday allowed Etihad to continue most of its disputed code share flights with Air Berlin for the winter schedule ending in March, handing the Abu Dhabi-based airline a partial victory.

The court ruled that Etihad should be allowed to continue its code share agreement for 26 international routes but rejected its request to continue code sharing on five domestic German routes.

The court said the international routes could continue as they were in accordance with a bilateral agreement struck between Germany and Abu Dhabi in 2000.

Code share flights allow carriers to jointly market a route, allowing them to expand their network and help fill their planes. Etihad says code shares were a key reason why it invested in loss-making Air Berlin in 2012.

But the German government said in 2014 that some of the previous approved code shares were not covered by a traffic rights agreement between Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

It said late last year it would approve about 29 disputed routes for the final time until Jan. 15, a decision that was backed by a lower court in Brunswick.

Etihad, which owns 29 percent of Air Berlin, had sought to appeal that decision and gain a temporary injunction to allow the code shares to continue at least until the end of the winter flight schedule. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; additional reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Maria Sheahan and David Clarke)

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