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Air Berlin sells bulk of frequent flyer program

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December 18, 2012 05:16 AM EST | AP


BERLIN — Lossmaking German carrier Air Berlin says it has sold a majority stake in its frequent flyer program to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad.

Air Berlin said Tuesday that it expects to receive (EURO)184.4 million ($242.7 million) from the sale of 70 percent of the program.

Etihad already owns a 30 percent stake in Germany's second biggest airline, which has been struggling in Europe's highly competitive travel market.

Air Berlin reported a loss of (EURO)271.8 million for 2011, up from (EURO)97.2 million the previous year.

The sale of its frequent flyer program is part of the oneworld alliance member's cost-saving drive. Others in the oneworld alliance include British Airways and American Airlines.