Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has finalised deals to acquire three airports services company as it Abu Dhabi airport hub which it plans to wrap into its own in-house unit.

The airline will acquire the ground handling, in-flight services and cargo operations units from Abu Dhabi Airports and, subject to regulatory approvals, incorporate these into its Etihad Airport Services unit. No purchase price was dislosed.

Etihad says the companies, which employ more than 4,000 people, are being integrated into the airline's existing structure structure to maximise synergies and operational scale. The re-engineered business units will continue to provide the full range of ground handling, catering and cargo services to Etihad Airways and other airlines at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

"It is once again in line with our strategy of working closely with our partners and service providers to achieve greater organisational and commercial alignment and a more consistent delivery of products and services along the entire value chain of the customer's experience," says Etihad chief executive James Hogan. "Airline and cargo customers will also benefit from enhanced service levels and greater integration across hub operations."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news