FOCA approves Darwin–Etihad strategic partnership

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) has given its final approval of the partnership between Darwin Airline and Etihad Airways.
FOCA started an investigation to ensure that the partnership between Darwin Airline and Etihad Airways was in accordance with European regulation related to Ownership and Control matters after Darwin announced an equity partnership in early 2014, through which Etihad would acquire a 33.3% percent stake in Darwin, and Darwin Airline would be rebranded as Etihad Regional, adopting a new brand image and livery for its fleet.
“After our latest meeting held in February, we were confident that we could reach a positive outcome with FOCA approving our deal with Etihad Airways,” commented Maurizio Merlo, CEO of Darwin Airline.“We presented our new business plan with all related financial projections, and FOCA confirmed that these plans would comply with the European regulations. Since announcing our partnership with Etihad Airways, we focused all our efforts on cost reduction and on a new business strategy. We worked very closely with both Etihad Airways and FOCA to address the authority’s concerns about the viability of our company and to reassure the authorities that European regulations are respected in all our transaction with Etihad Airways. This partnership will provide us the financial stability for the long-term growth of our company, dispelling any market uncertainty”, added Merlo.

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