Etihad Airways boosts stake in Virgin Australia

Etihad Airways boosts stake in Virgin Australia

Etihad Airways has confirmed its equity stake in Virgin Australia Holdings has reached 19.9 per cent.

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 per cent, Etihad Airways has reached the threshold approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in June 2013.

James Hogan, president, Etihad Airways, said: “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 ten-year strategic partnership agreement in August 2010 that includes code-sharing on flights, joint sales and marketing activities, and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flyer programmes.

Hogan added: “The strategic partnership continues to deliver significant revenue streams and other benefits to each airline.

“Increasing our equity in Virgin Australia will further enrich the commercial benefits which the partnership delivers for both airlines as well as increasing the benefits to Australian travellers and visitors to Australia.”