Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, confirmed today it had acquired a 2.987% stake in Aer Lingus. The airline said the purchase reflected its desire to forge a commercial partnership with the carrier and that it believes a possible partnership could produce significant commercial benefits for both airlines.
Etihad Airways operates 10 flights a week from Dublin to Abu Dhabi and has carried more than 750,000 passengers between the two capitals since it began flying the route in July 2007.
The airline has a premium lounge at Dublin Airport, an engineering maintenance facility, and has conducted recruitment drives across the country. It also recently renewed its sponsorship of the GAA’s Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, signing a five-year deal.
Etihad Airways has strategic codeshare partnerships with 34 airlines around the world.
Aer Lingus Statement
Aer Lingus today confirmed that Etihad Airways has acquired a holding of 2.987% of the Group’s issued share capital and said: “Etihad has stated to Aer Lingus that it does not intend to increase this stake, pending the outcome of the discussions referred to below.
“The company and Etihad are engaged in discussions which to date have focused on reciprocal code-share opportunities. Future discussions may explore additional commercial and cost opportunities to develop a closer working relationship in areas such as joint procurement. Aer Lingus views these discussions as a natural progression of the successful Greenfield cost reduction programme. There can be no certainty as to the outcome of these discussions.
“An update was issued to the stock exchange this morning and further updates will be provided if and when appropriate.”