Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today confirmed that it has acquired a 3.96 per cent stake in Virgin Australia Holdings.
The stake has been built over recent weeks, through purchases on the open market.
Etihad Airways believes that this equity 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 and V Australia 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.