Etihad takes 3.96% stake in Virgin Australia’s domestic unit

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Etihad Airways has acquired a 3.96% stake in Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH), the domestic arm of Virgin Australia.

"Etihad Airways believes this equity investment in Virgin Australia's domestic operations significantly strengthens the 10-year strategic partnership forged by the two carriers in August 2010, and will enrich the commercial benefits the alliance already provides for both airlines," Etihad said in a statement.

The stake was obtained through purchases on the open market in recent weeks, Etihad adds.

In March, Virgin Australia announced that a new corporate structure had been approved, opening the door to over 49% foreign ownership in VAH.

"We believe this is yet another demonstration of confidence in Virgin Australia and our strategy," Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said in an email to Flightglobal.