Germany's Air Berlin is in talks about a potential merger with TUIfly, according to reports.
The group said discussions are focused on "contributing the touristic operations of Air Berlin to a new venture to be established by TUI AG and Etihad Aviation Group".
"This would create a strong new European leisure airline group, combining the German TUIfly company, including the aircraft currently operated by TUIfly for Air Berlin under a separate wet lease agreement, and the current touristic fleet of the airberlin group, with the expertise and backing of Etihad Airways," the firm said.
The new combined group would be focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets.
TUIfly is a wholly-owned enterprise of the TUI Group, which is headquartered in Hanover, Germany, and listed on the London Stock Exchange. TUI Group has seen revenues decline this year as a result of security concerns in Europe.
Meanwhile, Etihad owns a chunk of Air Berlin, as well as almost half of Italian carrier Alitalia.
Shares in TUI Group were down slightly by 0.6 per cent this morning, while shares in Air Berlin were up 2.3 per cent.