Etihad Airways today confirmed that it has increased its stake in Virgin Australia to 10%.
Six weeks ago, Etihad received permission from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to increase its holding from 5% to 10%, and the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has now purchased 221 million shares on the open market over recent months.
“We are very pleased to have reached this threshold,” said Etihad’s President & CEO, James Hogan. “We support the management strategy of Virgin Australia and will continue to work closely with them on ways to improve our business.”
Hogan also reiterated that Etihad isn’t interested in taking full 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 partnership that includes codesharing on flights, joint marketing initiatives and reciprocal frequent flier agreements.
“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,” Hogan added.
Etihad owns equity stakes in several airlines, including Virgin Australia, airberlin, Aer Lingus and Air Seychelles.