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Etihad not rushing into decision to invest in Alitalia


CEO James Hogan confirms ‘no plans’ to make announcement this month.

January 14, 2014 10:18 by

Despite recent speculation that an announcement is expected soon, Etihad Airways has no plans to rush into a decision over an investment in Italian airline Alitalia, according to the CEO of the UAE’s national carrier.

“There are no plans to make any announcement at the end of this month,” James Hogan told journalists at a press conference in Berlin this week.

“What is important in any transaction is that you undertake your due diligence and ensure if you are going to invest, there is a clear plan to move to profitability. We will not be rushed into making a decision,” says Hogan.

Since the Abu Dhabi-based airline bought a 29 per cent stake in Air Berlin in 2011, Germany’s second-largest airline, Etihad has taken stakes in airlines across the world, a strategy that Hogan said the carrier would continue.

“Global reach is beyond the capacity of any single airline,” adds Hogan.

Along with Air Berlin, Etihad also owns stakes in Air Serbia, Aer Lingus, Darwin Airlines, Virgin Australia, Jet Airways and Air Seychelles.

Last week, Etihad revealed that it had enjoyed record-breaking success in 2013 by carrying its highest passenger numbers in the airline’s history. Nearly 12 million people flew with the airline last year, marking a significant increase of approximately 16 per cent from 2012.

“Our record-breaking numbers in 2013 reflect the continued success of our strategic master plan, which focuses on three fundamental pillars: Organic network growth, the forging of code-share partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines,” says Hogan.

Six destinations were introduced to Etihad’s network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington D.C. in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana’a in September and Ho Chi Minh City in October.

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