Etihad Airways has denied it is exploring an equity investment with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) after an industry report suggested the same in wake of the Asian carrier’s restructuring plan.
The Abu Dhabi carrier issued a statement on Thursday saying: “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.”
Earlier this week, a report by CAPA (Centre for Aviation) suggested that as MAS was considering restructuring options ‘possibility of a tie-up with Etihad Airways has emerged’.
The news stated an Etihad-MAS deal appeared to be a ‘logical’ next step for the carriers with the possibility of a codeshare partnership, without ruling out an equity stake by the Abu Dhabi carrier.
MAS is part of the OneWorld Alliance of partner airlines which includes Qatar Airways.
The Malaysian flag carrier has been working on a restructuring plan these past couple of months in wake of challenging market conditions and the impact of the missing flight MH370 that reports claim has significantly impacted demand from China.
The airline posted a $134 million loss for Q1 2014 last month, leading up to consolidating flights and rethinking underperforming routes.
Etihad Airways currently holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is seeking regulatory approval to invest in Swiss-based regional carrier Darwin Airline.
Earlier this week, the board of Italy’s troubled airline Alitalia voted to accept an offer by Etihad to invest in the company up to $1.70 billion over the next four years, according to Italy’s transport minister.
Etihad Airways expands codeshare agreement with Air Seychelles
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 2 July 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.
Beyond Paris CDG, the U.A.E. flag carrier also offers connections with codeshare partners Air France and SNCF French Railways to more than 20 French domestic destinations and a further 10 European cities.
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.
"France is also an important market for Etihad Airways, and providing more travel options between Paris and Abu Dhabi is central to our strategy of adding depth to our network.
"The new Air Seychelles twice weekly services will complement Etihad Airways’ existing twice daily operations between the two cities, facilitate more passenger and cargo traffic in both directions, and further cement the already strong trade, cultural and tourism ties between France, the U.A.E., and the Seychelles."