02 September 2012

Etihad Airways Increases Stake in Virgin Australia

02 September 2012 - Etihad Airways today confirmed its equity stake in Virgin Australia Holdings has now reached 10 per cent. This represents 221 million shares which have been bought on the open market over recent months. Six weeks ago Etihad Airways received Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval to increase its holding from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. 

Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Hogan, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this threshold. 

“We support the management strategy of Virgin Australia and will continue to work closely with them on ways to improve our business. 

Mr Hogan again reiterated that Etihad Airways wasn’t interested in becoming a majority shareholder or taking control of Virgin Australia. “Our small equity stake reflects the strong working relationship of both airlines and again demonstrates our enduring commitment to the Australian market,” he said. 

Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia have developed a highly successful, multi-tiered partnership that includes code-sharing on flights, joint marketing initiatives and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flier programs. 

Mr Hogan said he was confident the equity stake would lead to more revenue generating opportunities. “This further cements our commercial partnership as we continue to explore areas of even closer co-operation such as operational synergies, shared IT infrastructure and other forms of cost sharing efficiency.” 

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2011 carried 8.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 86 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with a fleet of 67 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and 100 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also hold equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus. 

Source: Etihad Airways