Etihad Airways buys 3% in Irish Aer Lingus

01 May 2012

(MENAFN) Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways agreed to buy 2.987 percent stake in Irish Aer Lingus, as part of its plan to strengthen its foothold in the European market, Arabian Business reported.

The deal comes after months of speculation with Etihad making no secret of its interest in Aer Lingus.

An Irish newspaper cited Etihad president James Hogan as saying that the company was interested in talks with the Irish government over its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus said that Etihad had stated it does not intend to increase its stake further, pending the outcome of discussions on a commercial tie-up.

In December, Etihad increased its shareholding of Air Berlin to nearly 30 percent, as it seeks to tap on the dense European short-haul route network and to the German capital ahead of its home rival Emirates Airlaine, which has been pushing for years to get into Berlin.

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