Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has begun proceedings in the High Court of London following a lawsuit against it from Air Berlin’s insolvency administrator, the company announced on Wednesday.
In December, it was announced by the Berlin Regional Court that the administrator asked for judges to award the former operator $565m and a ruling that further compensation is required.
At the time, the court said it had placed a provisional value of up to $2.26bn on the case. According to administrator Lucas Floether, Etihad went back on an April 2017 agreement to support Air Berlin – which had owned 29.2% of the airline since 2011 – for the following 18 months.
Air Berlin went bust after Etihad Group withdrew its support in August 2017.
In London, Etihad is seeking declarations of non-liability from the High Court, which Etihad says has exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute.
“The insolvency administrator’s case has no basis, and we are confident that we will prevail wherever the case is determined,” an Etihad spokesperson said. “Filing the case in Berlin, however, is a breach of a jurisdiction agreement between Etihad and Air Berlin under which the disputed matters are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.”
The spokesperson said that “since Etihad’s initial investment in Air Berlin as a UK public company, our relationship has been formally governed by English Law and has been subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.”
“Therefore, the High Court in London is the proper venue for this dispute,” the spokesperson added.
Source: Arabian Business