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Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways in codeshare talks, may expand to other commercial opportunities

2-May-2012 12:11 PM

Aer Lingus confirmed (01-May-2012) it is in negotiations with Etihad Airways regarding the possibility of a reciprocal codeshare relationship. Etihad Airways announced on 01-May-2012 that it had acquired a 2.987% stake in Aer Lingus. The carrier said the purchase reflected its desire to forge a commercial partnership with the Irish national carrier. Etihad does not intend to increase its stake in the airline until the codeshare talks are completed. Future discussions may explore additional commercial and cost opportunities to develop a closer working relationship between the two airlines, in areas such as joint procurement. Aer Lingus said it views these discussions as a natural progression of its 'Greenfield' cost reduction programme.  The Irish Government holds a 25% stake in Aer Lingus but has expressed its desire to sell its stake. Ryanair holds 29% of the carrier but has been blocked several times from acquiring a greater share. Etihad CEO James Hogan stated earlier this year the carrier was interested in talking to the Irish Government about its ownership stake in Aer Lingus (Arabian Business, 01-May-2012). Etihad operates 10 times weekly Abu Dhabi-Dublin service, launched in Jul-2007. [more - original PR]