Etihad Airways takes over UK frequent flyer programme TopBonus

Etihad Airways PJSC, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, plans to pursue an acquisition of UK’s TopBonus Ltd, the frequent flyer programme of Germany-based air carrier Air Berlin Plc (ETR:AB1), a regulatory filing shows.

The filing was submitted with the Austrian Cartel Authority on Wednesday. The anti-trust body previously announced it was aware of the plans for the amalgamation.

The German airline, in which Etihad holds a 29.12% interest, said last month it was in advanced negotiations on an offload of a majority stake in TopBonus, without naming a potential buyer. Through the disposal, Air Berlin hopes to trim its operating loss for this year, it had said.

Etihad Airways is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The company began commercial operations in November 2003.

Air Berlin operates a fleet of 158 aircraft and has a workforce of 9,300. It flies to 170 destinations in 40 countries.