Etihad nabs Virgin Australia stake

Etihad nabs Virgin Australia stake
By admin


Etihad Airways has acquired a 3.96% share in Virgin Australia Holdings, confirming months of speculation that it was eyeing a stake in its partner airline.

Virgin Australia admitted to Travel Today it had only been notified of the acquisition last night and that there had been no discussion prior to that, although Etihad had flagged its intentions in the media.

“We believe this is yet another demonstration of confidence in Virgin Australia and our strategy," chief executive John Borghetti said.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad revealed the stake had been built over recent weeks, through purchases on the open market.

“Etihad Airways believes that this equity investment in Virgin Australia’s domestic operations significantly strengthens the 10-year strategic partnership forged by the two carriers in August 2010 and will enrich the commercial benefits which the alliance already provides for both airlines, as well as increasing the benefits to Australian consumers and visitors to Australia,” a statement said.

The carriers operate a combined total of 24 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia, offering passengers access to more than 150 destinations.

Last month Etihad Airways leased a Virgin Australia Boeing 777-300ER for use on its Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur route.

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