ETIHAD INCREASES STAKE IN VIRGIN AUSTRALIA
Etihad Airways has confirmed its equity stake in Virgin Australia Holdings had reached 19.9%. This follows a series of on-market purchases of Virgin Australia shares over recent weeks. The Abu Dhabi-based airline now holds more than 515 million shares in its equity partner airline. At 19.9%, Etihad has reached the threshold approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in June.
James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, commented, “We are delighted to have reached this milestone. It reflects our strong support for the business strategy and management team of Virgin Australia and our enduring commitment to the Australian market. It also reflects the close working relationship between our two airlines and we look forward to strengthening its commercial foundations.”
Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement in August 2010 that includes codesharing on flights, joint sales and marketing activities, and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flyer programs.