Etihad to expand Australia operations
Etihad Airways has outlined a number of changes to its Australia operations, including the introduction of new aircraft, routes, airport facilities and additional flights.
Speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit in Sydney, chief executive officer of Etihad Airways James Hogan commented on the importance of the Australian market for Etihad, and highlighted some of the airline’s growth plans for the country.
These include the introduction of the A380 on the Sydney and Melbourne to Abu Dhabi routes. Also, the airline will offer additional flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to Abu Dhabi, along with new nonstop flights between Perth and the UAE capital. Etihad will also establish premium lounges in Sydney and Melbourne airports from 2014.
Hogan also reaffirmed that Etihad would be looking to increase its equity stake in Virgin Australia to 19.9 per cent, up from 10 per cent. “The Virgin Australia partnership enables us to connect with 45 destinations in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, while we reciprocate by providing connections via our Abu Dhabi hub to a wide range of destinations in Europe, UK, Ireland and Africa,” he said.
Etihad’s interest in strengthening its equity stake in Virgin Australia follows the recent approval of its 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways (see here).
For more information, visit www.etihad.com
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