Etihad may invest in other airlines

Etihad set to launch their aviation academy

ETIHAD Airways, one of the national airlines of the UAE, may acquire stakes in other airlines worldwide as it awaits a decision on its bid for a stake in Luxembourg’s Cargolux, the UAE national airline’s chief told media.

Robert W Strodel, chief executive, said Etihad had been approached by some airlines and the offers were being evaluated, according to Strodel did not name the airlines that were trying to woo Etihad, the report said.
Last year, Etihad bid for a 33.7 per cent stake in Luxembourg’s Cargolux reportedly for more than $130 million.
“The shares were originally held by Swiss and are now back with the Government of Luxembourg, which has now proceeded to instruct the management of Cargolux to make a shortlist of ideal partners in this company and we are on this list. We are still interested but the issue is not in our hands, it is with the Government of Luxembourg and we do believe this decision will be taken this year,” he says.

Financing deal
Etihad and Oasis International Leasing have formalised an approximately $1 billion lease financing agreement with Barclays Capital for six Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Financing of additional aircraft, involving the three parties, is on the cards, according to media.
Etihad plans to acquire 24 Airbus aircraft, including 12 Airbus 330-200s.
Deliveries of the six Airbus aircraft were to begin last month.
Barclays Capital is the sole mandated lead arranger and book runner for the transaction and will also act as the syndicating bank for the associated debt financing facility.

Aviation Academy
Etihad is to shortly launch its own Aviation Academy with an investment of Dh250 million ($68 million) and its own dedicated terminal at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, says Strodel. The academy will be ready by the end of 2006 with training facilities for pilots and cabin crew including classrooms for commercial and operational staff and simulators.
Strodel said it was the first big investment Etihad has made in creating and building a training centre.