UAE's Etihad denies Croatia Airlines stake talks

Media reports in Balkan country claimed UAE airline was looking for tie-up

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has said that is currently not in talks to acquire a stake in Croatia Airlines, following media speculation in the Balkan country.

Croat newspaper Jutarnji List claimed that before October 15 the country’s government will tender for the sale of the airline, in which it owns 90 percent, with a new investor potentially being announced in February next year.

The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said that Garuda Indonesia and China Southern Airlines were among other possible investors. It reported that Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic and Croatia Airlines Sinisa Petrovic were due to fly out to Indonesia next week in order to drum up interest in a deal.

Jutarnji List did not specify how much of its shareholding in Croatia Airlines the government was looking to offload, but European Commission rules specify that non-EU entities can only own up to 49 percent of the company.

An Etihad spokesperson told Arabian Business that the carrier “is not in talks with Croatia Airlines”.

Earlier this month Etihad secured 49 percent of Belgrade-based JAT Airways in a deal worth $200m that will also see the airline rebranded as Air Serbia.

Air Serbia is Etihad’s sixth equity partner, it also owns 29.21 percent of Germany’s airberlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 10.5 percent of Virgin Australia, 2.99 percent of Irish carrier Aer Lingus and 24 percent of India’s Jet Airways.

The investment by Etihad is part of wider investment in the European country by the UAE. Earlier this year, the Gulf state made the largest investment in Serbia in more than 30 years, potentially helping to lift the Balkans state out of a deep recession.

Earlier in month it was also reported that Etihad was in “advanced talks” with Poland’s treasury for a potential equity investment in the country’s LOT Polish Airlines.  Etihad neither confirmed nor denied any negotiations.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi Arabia outsources airport operations

Saudi Arabia outsources airport operations

The signing last week of public-private partnerships to manage...

The cost of the US laptop ban

The cost of the US laptop ban

Aviation analysts and airline bosses are warning of significant...

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Couldn't a laptop with a bomb inside still pose a danger within...

Most Discussed