Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has denied a report that its proposed purchase of a stake in Switzerland's Darwin Airline was in jeopardy, saying it expects a positive decision on the acquisition within weeks.
Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is in the process of buying a 33.3 percent stake in Darwin, which has already rebranded itself Etihad Regional in anticipation of the deal's completion.
Swiss-German free newspaper 20 Minuten, citing its Swiss-Italian sister publication, reported that the fledgeling airline partnership was struggling in the face of strong competition from rival Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), but Etihad said it is committed to the tie-up.
"Our commitment to work with Darwin Airline remains strong and will not be compromised by the aggressive actions of competitors," Etihad president and chief executive officer James Hogan said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
Last month Darwin lodged a formal complaint with Switzerland's competition commission over alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Lufthansa-owned SWISS.
Swiss authorities have given Darwin until the end of January to answer questions before they approve the Etihaddeal.
Hogan said Etihad is confident of reaching a positive conclusion to the regulatory process relating to the Darwin deal in the weeks to come.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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