(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Etihad airways may close the next phase of its partnership with airberlin its top official said
“all our objectives have been met and we are in the final stages of negotiating the next stage of that [airberlin] partnership” president and chief operating officer james hogan told nik gowing a bbc news presenter who moderated the first session of the two-day global aerospace summit that began here.
Hogan elaborated the achievements of the airline whose turnover has multiplied to 7.4 billion in 2013 from 300 million in 2006 and how airline grew from successful partnerships and equity investments.
He said that the carrier was studying to invest in loss-making italian carrier alitalia as the due diligence process was still ongoing. “we are in due diligence at the moment. the mandate we have from shareholders is if we can achieve an agreement that meets the commercial mandate we’ll come back and present that to the board. that’s where we are at the moment” hogan said.
“in europe for example we have acquired minority equity stakes in airberlin air serbia and aer lingus and are seeking regulatory approval to invest in the swiss regional carrier darwin airline which now operates as etihad regional – switzerland... in doing so not only do we strengthen our own operations we strengthen those of our equity partner airlines increasing competition within europe and bolstering european economies as well as our own home base.”
Earlier he said etihad airways and its abu dhabi homebase continue to benefit from the airline’s strategy of working closely with network partners which in turn is supporting economic growth in markets around the world.
Details of the successful expansion strategy were shared by hogan during his keynote address to delegates at the summit.
“etihad airways continues to be our core business and main focus yet through our network partners the airline is building a global presence which we wouldn’t be able to do alone and helps us all carry greater numbers of air travellers around the world.”
Hogan spoke about how etihad airways and its network partners can now leverage economies of scale through joint procurement and resource sharing which he said were not available through pure commercial relationships or membership of airline alliances.
“the benefits of strategy flow to our partners as they gain access to the etihad airways global flight network improved revenue opportunities and reciprocal cost and efficiency gains. the net result is stronger more competitive airlines delivering benefits to consumers creating employment and contributing to economic growth” said hogan.