Aviation Etihad appeals ruling against Air Berlin codeshare routes By Robert Silk / January 04, 2016 Share 1 -- Etihad Airways on Monday appealed last week’s German court decision that would end 31 codeshare routes that the carrier has with Air Berlin this winter. In filing the appeal, the airline took aim at the German Ministry of Transport. “Make no mistake. Protectionism will undoubtedly harm the investment landscape in Germany,” Etihad CEO James Hogan said in a statement that accused the transport ministry of opposing the codeshare routes due to lobbying from Air Berlin’s biggest domestic rival, Lufthansa.The ministry originally approved 29 of the codeshares that would end as a result of last week’s court decision, but reversed course in 2014. Those routes, many of them long-hauls between the Middle East and Berlin, aren’t covered under Germany’s bilateral air traffic agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the ministry says.The 31 codeshare routes are slated to cease on Jan. 15. Fifty-two other Etihad/Air Berlin codeshares will continue to operate.Etihad, which owns 29% of Air Berlin, said Monday that it invested in the airline in 2011 with the encouragement of German government officials, only to have the rules changed in midstream.In a statement, the ministry responded that the court’s decision last week backed their position that the codeshares aren’t covered under the air traffic agreement between Germany and the UAE. The airlines have had time to implement alternative route solutions, the ministry added.Lufthansa declined to comment on the Etihad court case, noting that it isn’t a party in the dispute. “In general, we advocate that provisions which have been agreed upon in aviation conventions must be adhered to,” Lufthansa spokeswoman Claudia Lange said. Etihad’s appeal of last week’s court decision comes amid ongoing disputes between Lufthansa, and the rapidly growing Gulf carriers Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways.Like U.S.-based legacy carriers American, Delta and United, Lufthansa has accused the Gulf carriers of benefiting from billions of dollars in government subsidies, giving them an unfair advantage in the international aviation marketplace. Lufthansa, joined by Air France KLM and backed by the German and French governments, has called on the European Commission to get tough on the Gulf Carriers as it prepares to negotiate a Europe-wide Open Skies agreement with the Gulf nations.The Gulf carriers deny that they are receiving state subsidies.