After denying the talks for several days the news is out – Etihad is buying 49% of Alitalia – the chronically money-losing Italian carrier.
Etihad is becoming a major force in Europe now, with strong investments in Air Berlin, Alitalia and Etihad Regional. Many European legacy carriers have voiced concerns about Middle East carriers and countries like Germany have capped the slots that Middle East carriers can use at major airports.
Buying European carriers solves this problem nicely. Big bet by Etihad!