Etihad Airways is to move to a double daily service on its Abu Dhabi-Dusseldorf route from March 26, effectively taking over the daily flights currently operated by Air Berlin (in which Etihad owns a 29.1 per cent stake).

From the start of the summer schedules the Gulf carrier will offer departures from Abu Dhabi at 0235 and 0855, with the return legs leaving Dusseldorf at 1130 and 2100 respectively.

In a statement Etihad said that “Air Berlin, which operates a daily service between Düsseldorf and Abu Dhabi, has notified Etihad Airways of its decision to discontinue the route and redeploy the aircraft onto other markets from the beginning of the 2017 summer schedule”.

The Gulf carrier added that “Passengers booked on Air Berlin flights from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi and beyond will be reprotected on services operated by Etihad Airways”.

The changes will see Etihad offering a double daily service on flights to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, with Air Berlin continuing to operate twice-daily on the Berlin-Abu Dhabi route.

Last year Air Berlin dropped its daily service between Stuttgart and Abu Dhabi.