Etihad Airways will increase participation in airberlin by up to 49.9%
Etihad Airways, which already owns 29,21% of the German company, will increase its stake in airberlin (Air Berlin - the old name) to 50%, according to German media. That is not exactly 50%, but 49,9%, a percentage at which airberlin remains a German and therefore European airline. Thus it does not lose its rights on frequencies to / from North America, which are in accordance with the EU-US agreement.
According to Wirtschaftswoche, German shareholders, including former and current directors, will hold 50.1% of the airberlin in order to retain "German citizenship". Etihad Airways will make an investment of about EUR 100 million to buy 20.69% of the shares from the minority shareholding.
Also, Etihad Airways has plans to conclude a strategic partnership between airberlin and Alitalia. The operator in the United Arab Emirates intends to take up to 40% of the shares of the Italian carrier. We'll probably find out more at the airberlin conference, which is scheduled for March 27 2014.
I have always said that I like the development strategy applied by Etihad Airways. In recent years, Etihad Airways has begun to buy shares in several airlines: Air Seychelles (40%), Virgin Australia (10.5%), Aer Lingus (2.99%), Jet Airways (24%), Jat Airwys / Air Serbia (49%), Darwin Airline / Etihad Regional as of March 2014 (33,3%).