Etihad builds Virgin Australia stake

Abu Dhabi-based carrier increases stake to 4.99 per cent.
NEWS, Aviation


Etihad Airways has upped its stake in Virgin Australia Holdings to 4.99 per cent just a few days after disclosing that it had bought a 3.96 per cent stake.

The shareholding has been built over recent weeks, through purchases on the open market.

The company said it remains interested in building a larger share over time, but will only do so after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals.

According to a statement, Etihad believes that the 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.

Together, Etihad Airways (21) and V Australia (3) operate 24 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and Australia and passengers have access to a combined network of more than 150 destinations. Last month Etihad Airways leased a Virgin Australia Boeing 777-300ER for use on its route between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur.

Etihad Airways began flying to Australia in March, 2007 when it launched services to Sydney. Melbourne and Brisbane were quickly added. Nearly 2.2 million passengers have been carried between Abu Dhabi and these three cities in the last five years.

Etihad Airways has strategic codeshare partnerships with 35 airlines around the world.

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