FRANKFURT, June 8 (Reuters) - TUI Group , Europe's largest tour operator, on Thursday said talks were ended with carrier Etihad to form a leisure airline joint venture.
Under initial plans, its TUIfly unit would have combined with Niki, owned by Air Berlin, which is partly owned by Etihad.
"A strong European leisure airline continues to make great strategic sense. After all, the aviation sector is characterised by overcapacity in Germany," said TUI's executive board member Sebastian Ebel in a statement.
"However, Niki is no longer available for a joint venture. We will push the repositioning of TUI fly further ahead in order to develop long-term prospects for the airline and its employees," Ebel added.
TUI said it remained open for partnerships and joint ventures. (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Ludwig Burger)