Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is considering more equity investments in other airlines, its president and chief executive officer James Hogan said in a release on Tuesday. “The airline is currently engaged in three major transactions — the acquisition of 24% of India’s Jet Airways, a 49% stake and management contract in Air Serbia, and increasing equity in Virgin Australia from 10% to a target of 19.9%,” said Hogan, at the FVW Kongress in Cologne, Germany.
“Global reach is beyond the capacity of any single airline. Progress must come through partnership,” said Hogan. “We will consider more strategic partnerships if they add value.”
Etihad Airways launched its equity investment strategy in 2011 with the purchase of a 29% stake in Airberlin, followed by a 40% investment in Air Seychelles, which included a five year management contract. This was followed by an investment in Virgin Australia in 2012 and a 3% stake in Ireland’s Aer Lingus, Air Serbia deal in 2013 and, subject to final approval, the Jet Airways investment.
“Equity investments deliver synergy benefits which cannot be achieved through legacy airline alliances,” Hogan said. “Legacy alliances are focused largely on network and revenue benefits. Our equity alliance delivers much broader benefits for all of the partners including opportunities to reduce costs through resource sharing and joint procurement.”