Etihad Airways parent group ownership transferred to ADQ

The move is aimed at further developing Abu Dhabi's global aviation hub

Etihad Airways is a global leader in air travel, flying to 63 destinations in 42 countries. Photo: Etihad
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The Abu Dhabi government has transferred the ownership of Etihad Aviation Group — the parent of Etihad Airways — to holding company ADQ, in a move aimed at transforming the emirate into a global aviation hub.

The Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairs "transferred full ownership" of EAG to ADQ, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The aviation sector is critical to Abu Dhabi’s economic growth plans and prosperity. With Etihad joining ADQ’s mobility and logistics cluster, we are well positioned to develop a globally competitive and integrated aviation portfolio to enhance Abu Dhabi’s connectivity and overall value proposition," said Mohamed Alsuwaidi, managing director and chief executive of ADQ.

With the addition of EAG, ADQ’s aviation portfolio includes Abu Dhabi Airports, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and ADQ Aviation & Aerospace Services Company.

"The transfer of EAG complements ADQ's efforts to transform Abu Dhabi into a global aviation hub anchored in end-to-end airport service excellence," ADQ said.

The move, aimed at supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision to create an integrated aviation hub, is in line with ADQ’s aviation strategy.

The company is focused on "delivering airlines and passengers a globally competitive value proposition specialising in aircraft engineering, cargo and ground handling services and an unrivaled customer experience through the anticipated opening of Abu Dhabi Airports’ new Midfield Terminal", it said.

On Monday, ADQ said it plans to create an aviation services giant with about Dh9.4 billion ($2.56bn) in assets by combining its stakes in three aviation assets with Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA).

The move is expected to create a "globally competitive aviation business" based in Abu Dhabi, positioning the capital as a global hub for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, logistics, supply chain and advanced engineering capabilities. And, after completion, ADQ would own about 59.44 per cent of the entire issued share capital of ADA.

Earlier this year, EAG’s ancillary businesses were transitioned into ADQ to create a new integrated aviation support services company, ushering in a new wave of growth for the sector.

"EAG will continue its aspiration to be a leading global airline that delivers a best-in-class customer experience, unrivalled services and care for its guests as part of ADQ’s aviation portfolio," ADQ said on Tuesday.

Established in 2018, ADQ is an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company with a broad portfolio of major enterprises. The move for it to fully own EAG comes at a time when Abu Dhabi is seeking to diversify its economy from oil, with a focus on sectors such as advanced technology, manufacturing and tourism.

Etihad Airways is a global leader in air travel, operating to 63 destinations in 42 countries.

The airline reported a record profit in the first half of 2022 — the highest in its 18-year history — citing a strong rebound in passenger travel demand, growth in cargo revenue and the lifting of domestic Covid-19 curbs.

Etihad returned to profitability with a core operating income of $296 million in the first six months of this year, compared to a half-year loss of $392m in 2021, buoyed by a fourfold increase in the number of passengers carried during the period.

Updated: October 19, 2022, 4:03 PM