A year into its alliance partnership, Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, Etihad Airways is said to be considering an investment in Virgin Australia.
As part of the carrier’s expansion into Asia, Etihad chief executive James Hogan told media that the airline was looking to add to its long-term relationship with the Australian carrier, The Australian Financial Review reported.
"We have a long-term commercial partnership with Virgin and if both John (Borghetti, chief executive of Virgin) and I considered there was a way to strengthen that, we’d look at that seriously," Mr Hogan explained.
One of the options includes the possibility of Virgin separating its domestic and international business to enable overseas investment without foreign ownership restrictions.
According to Australian rules, Australian airlines flying on international routes are restricted to receiving only 49 percent foreign ownership.Virgin is currently sitting at 46 percent, with Air New Zealand holding up to 20 percent and Sir Richard Branson owning 26 percent.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J