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Aer Lingus focus on transatlantic a deterrent for Etihad: chief

Etihad Airways elected not to invest further in Aer Lingus because the Irish carrier decided to focus on transatlantic markets rather than on connecting traffic to Abu Dhabi, chief executive James Hogan reveals.

Speaking at the UK Aviation Club in London today, Hogan said the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, which has a 4.11% stake in Aer Lingus, deepened its partnerships with other European airlines because Aer Lingus "took the decision to put more capacity on transatlantic", adding: "So when we saw they weren't prepared to work more with us to come more into Abu Dhabi... we put our direction elsewhere, and obviously we moved towards Air Berlin and Alitalia.

"What Air Berlin and Alitalia, with ourselves and our codeshare with Air France and KLM, give us [is] a fairly strong coverage now within Europe.

"So, [from] when we first stepped in to where we are today, the landscape has changed."

Etihad has signalled that it is likely to sell its entire stake in Aer Lingus should IAG be successful in its efforts to take majority control of the Dublin-based carrier. The carrier has a 29.21% stake in Air Berlin and a 49% holding in Alitalia.

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