Etihad to Acquire 40% of Air Seychelles

Reuters26.01.2012 Aviation & Space
Etihad to Acquire 40% of Air Seychelles

Etihad to Acquire 40% of Air Seychelles

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Etihad Airways will acquire a 40% stake in Air Seychelles, its second airline acquisition in the last five weeks as the rapidly growing Abu Dhabi-based carrier embarks on an ambitious expansion plan.

Etihad and the Seychelles government will each invest $20 million in the state-owned airline, Etihad said on Wednesday. The Abu Dhabi airline will also provide a $25 million loan to help Air Seychelles meet working capital requirements and support network development.

“The investment in the national carrier of Seychelles is a natural next step towards growing our operations in the increasingly important leisure markets of the Indian Ocean and Africa,” Etihad's Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said.

The agreement also includes a five-year management contract for Etihad Airways to encourage Air Seychelles' long-term growth.

Last month, state-owned Etihad acquired a stake of around 30% in Germany's Air Berlin.

Middle East carriers such as Etihad, Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates have been aggressively expanding route networks, provoking fears that Gulf-based superjumbos would draw traffic from European carriers' hubs.

Qatar Airways recently acquired a 35% stake in all-freight carrier Cargolux, while the Air Berlin stake buy was the first time a Gulf carrier has bought an equity stake in a European passenger airline.

Etihad owns a fleet of 64 Airbus and Boeing aircraft with another 100 aircraft on order.

Source: Reuters



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