Etihad increases stake in Virgin Australia
Etihad Airways has increased its stake in Virgin Australia Holdings to 6.1% from 5% last month, Business Spectator has reported.
According to reports, over the past three weeks the Abu Dhabi-based airline paid $10.6 million for more than 24,000 additional shares, climbing closer to the 10% limit approved by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.
Industry analyst Saj Ahmed said: "Etihad's increased stake in Virgin Australia will continue to make headlines until they reach the oft-cited 10% limit currently imposed by regulatory authorities.
"With Qantas facing domestic pressure from Virgin Australia's expanding network as well as Etihad snaring international traffic, this partnership will continue to get stronger, providing customers with better connectivity to and from Australia.
"Of course, the real gambit is whether Etihad pushes beyond the 10% ownership limit in place at the moment - and there's every reason to believe that they will."