1-May-2012 5:37 PM

Etihad Airways buys 2.987% stake in Aer Lingus

Etihad Airways confirmed (01-May-2012) it has acquired a 2.987% per cent stake in Aer Lingus. The airline said the purchase "reflected its desire to forge a commercial partnership with the Irish national carrier" and it believes a possible partnership could produce "significant commercial benefits for both airlines". Etihad Airways operates 10 times weekly Abu Dhabi-Dublin service, which it launched in Jul-2007. Ryanair, in Mar-2012 and as quoted by Arabian Business, stated it was willing to discuss selling its 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus if the Etihad Airways proceeded with plans to purchase the 25% stake in Aer Lingus controlled by the Irish Government. The purchase is reportedly provisional on the Irish Government underwriting Aer Lingus’ EUR300 million pension deficit. [more - original PR]