Etihad denies investment talks with MAS

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Etihad Airways has denied that it has held talks with Malaysia Airlines over a possible investment in the Kuala Lumpur based carrier.

“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 carrier said in an emailed statement.

The statement scotches recent market rumours that MAS recently informed the Oneworld alliance that it was discussing an equity partnership with the Abu Dhabi based carrier.

Etihad and MAS have a codeshare agreement covering routes between Abu Dhabi and Malaysia, Singapore and Denpasar, but until recently there had been no suggestion of a deeper tie-up between the two airlines.

Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah recently announced that it would come up with a restructuring plan for MAS, which has struggled under the weight of competition, and the unusual disappearance of flight MH370 on 8 March.

Khazanah holds a 14% stake in MAS directly, and a further 52.3% through holding company Penerbangan Malaysia.

MAS posted a pre-tax loss of MYR439 million ($136 million) for the quarter ended 31 March.