Etihad Airways PJSC (“Etihad”) today announces that it has commenced proceedings in the High Court in London following the lawsuit commenced against it in Berlin by the insolvency administrator of Air Berlin PLC (“Air Berlin”).
Etihad seeks declarations of non-liability from the English court, as the court with exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute.
As announced by the Berlin Regional Court on 14 December 2018, the insolvency administrator is claiming damages from Etihad for violation of alleged obligations in relation to a letter it provided to Air Berlin in April 2017.
The case is without merit and the disputed matters are, by prior agreement between the parties, subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. European law therefore requires that the dispute be determined by the English court and the proceedings in Berlin be dismissed.
An Etihad spokesperson said: “The insolvency administrator’s case has no basis, and we are confident that we will prevail wherever the case is determined. 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. 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.”