Etihad Airways is selling some of its airline support services businesses in order to focus fully on its core airline business as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gulf carrier announced on December 23, 2021.
The transaction is with ADQ, a holding company also based in the United Arab Emirates, and with Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC).
Etihad chief executive Tony Douglas said the move marks the next stage in Etihad’s transformation. The Abu Dhabi-based airline has been restructuring after its previous strategy to drive growth via investments in other airlines, including collapsed carriers Air Berlin (AB1), Alitalia and Jet Airways, did not work out.
“The past two years have changed the face of aviation and the proposed agreement marks a significant milestone in how we are repositioning Etihad Airways and our subsidiaries for long-term success,” Douglas commented in a press release. “This agreement will allow us to place 100% of our focus on Etihad Airways to capitalize on recovering travel demand.”
The businesses being transferred to ADQ are Etihad Engineering, Etihad Airport Services Cargo, Etihad Airport Services Ground, Etihad Aviation Training, Etihad Secure Logistics and Etihad Technical Training. ADQ will set up a new aviation company for the activities.
“Once the transaction is complete, the airline support services businesses will benefit from being part of ADQ’s broad mobility and logistics portfolio, which includes Abu Dhabi Airports and AD Ports Group,” Etihad explains in the statement.
Government-owned Etihad will meanwhile transfer Etihad Airport Services Catering and Etihad Holidays to ADNEC.
The businesses being transferred will continue to work with Etihad Airways as “strategic partners”. The parties did not disclose the terms of the deal.
“With a new, single-minded focus on our airline business, we will continue to deliver on the best-in-class and sustainable travel experience that our guests expect of Etihad Airways,” Douglas added.