Etihad Airways ‘open to discussions’ over potential re-launch of Virgin Australia

Etihad Airways ‘open to discussions’ over potential re-launch of Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia on Tuesday said it had entered voluntary administration after the COVID-19 crisis forced it into insolvency. (AFP)
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Updated 21 April 2020

Etihad Airways ‘open to discussions’ over potential re-launch of Virgin Australia

Etihad Airways ‘open to discussions’ over potential re-launch of Virgin Australia

ABU DHABI: Etihad was unable to provide a financial lifeline to Virgin Australia because of the pressures created by the coronavirus pandemic on its own business, the Abu Dhabi-based airline has said.
Virgin Australia on Tuesday said it had entered voluntary administration after the COVID-19 crisis forced it into insolvency. The airline is a major codeshare partner of Etihad and a major contributor to stopover travel through Abu Dhabi for long-haul east-west travel.
“Over recent weeks we have worked closely with the company and all key stakeholders to try and find a solution that would have avoided administration for Virgin Australia, but unfortunately did not succeed,” the airline said in a statement to Arab News. “Having to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on our own business, we were unable to provide additional financial support in the current circumstances.”
But it said it remained “open for constructive discussions on a potential re-launch of the company.”
Together Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Dubai-based Emirates for years captured a huge share of long haul traffic between Australia and Europe though their codeshare partners with Virgin Australia and Qantas respectively.
The routes have also benefited the local tourism sector as travelers broke their journey’s in the UAE’s two biggest cities, spending on hotels and restaurants.
Etihad said on Tuesday that Australia was an important market for the company and that it hoped the administration of Virgin Australia would allow for some form of resumption of service.