Etihad focused on India’s Jet Airways

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is focused on taking a stake in India’s Jet Airways, its chief executive said on Friday amid media speculation it could invest in Italy’s troubled Alitalia.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 21 Sep 2013, 12:35 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:25 PM

When asked whether Etihad was interested in taking a stake in Alitalia, Etihad chief executive officer James Hogan told AFP that “at the moment I’m focused on India, transactions in India”.

He said Etihad has a strong relationship with Alitalia, and flies to Rome and Milan.

“We look at many businesses but we are primarily focused on Jet Airways,” said Hogan.

He said Etihad hopes to get the green light from Indian authorities in the coming weeks to acquire 24 per cent of Jet Airways, which will give it a presence in a fast-growing market.

Jet Airways received conditional approval in July to sell the stake worth $349 million.

Hogan was in Paris to meet with Air France-KLM executives, part of regular meetings following a code-sharing agreement reached last year.

“Our relationship is working well,” said Hogan. “We meet every four or five months to talk about opportunities.”

Talk has swirled for months about Etihad possibly taking a stake in Alitalia, with speculation intensifying following comments this week by Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi.

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