Etihad Airways launches regional carrier

Branded operation after 33.3% purchase of Darwin Airline

Etihad Airways has announced a “step-change in global aviation” with the launch of its first branded regional operation, after taking a 33.3% stake in the Swiss carrier Darwin Airline.

Following completion of the investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, Darwin will rebrand its operations as Etihad Regional and align its network to connect passengers from secondary European markets to Etihad Airways’ main networks.

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates also says it will launch daily services between Abu Dhabi and Zurich on 1 June 2014, and that Zurich will become one of Darwin Airline’s main operating hubs.

“This is a step-change for Etihad Airways,” Etihad’s president and CEO, James Hogan, said. “With our new partner Darwin Airline we are creating a unique approach to network development for global airlines. European travellers will now be able to connect from a far, far wider range of European towns and cities on Etihad-branded aircraft, through Abu Dhabi to our destinations worldwide. We are also linking the new Etihad Regional network into the key hubs of our equity alliance partners, bringing benefits to the customers of airberlin and Air Serbia.”

He added that the new approach could be extended to other markets over time.

Khaleej Times

[image courtesy Etihad Airways]