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While Etihad — or any other carrier healthy or otherwise — could get a chunk of Malaysia for less these days, it knows buying this airline would be a much worse idea than taking a stake in Alitalia.
Etihad Airways is not negotiating a stake in Malaysia Airlines. “Etihad Airways would like to confirm that it is not in talks with Malaysia Airlines about the possibility of an equity investment in the carrier,” the airlines said on Thursday. The Malaysian air carrier has recently informed oneworld alliance members that “it might form a partnership with Etihad Airways”, says CAPA Centre for Aviation.
The report follows speculation at the International Air Transport Association annual meeting in Doha, Qatar, this month that talks between Malaysia Airlines and Etihad Airways were under way, including the possibility of an equity investment by the Abu Dhabi carrier.
Malaysia Airlines, whose plane disappeared recently after it took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing killing all people onboard, was the centre of discussions internationally.
The airline is a member of the oneworld alliance, having been sponsored by Qantas Airways when the two were in talks about forming a premium joint venture in Asia, according to media.
However, relations between the carriers soured after Qantas signed a comprehensive partnership deal with Emirates.
According to Malaysian media, any equity stake in Malaysia Airlines could bolster Etihad’s position in Australia in a big way as the loss-making carrier is one of the largest international airlines in the local market. However, Etihad Airways, negotiations with Alitalia are moving forward in a positive manner, after the board of directors of Italy’s loss-making airlines last Friday agreed with the salvage plan proposed by Etihad Airways for a 49 per cent equity stake.
Air Seychelles codeshare
Etihad Airways has extended its codeshare agreement with Air Seychelles to include the island carrier’s new services between Paris and Abu Dhabi, scheduled to commence on July 2, 2014.
Operated by Air Seychelles’ brightly-coloured Airbus A330-200 aircraft featuring 18 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy Class, the Air Seychelles flights will link the French capital’s Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport twice weekly with the Seychelles via Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways will place its EY flight code on the new Air Seychelles services, providing guests and cargo customers with more travel options to and from France.
Etihad Airways flies twice daily between Paris CDG and Abu Dhabi, connecting to the Seychelles and more than 50 other destinations across the Gulf region, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Indian Subcontinent.
Kevin Knight, chief strategy and planning officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Our partner Air Seychelles’ return to Paris marks another milestone in its journey of growing its international operations by flying to and from more key destinations.”