Etihad received $22b in Abu Dhabi funds over 16 years

Aviation News Desk:

Abu Dhabi’s government stumped up around $22 billion for Etihad Airways since it began flying in 2003, underscoring the ambition of the emirate to turn its national carrier into a global player. The heavy investments, made before COVID-19 lockdowns strangled demand for air travel, were likely a prelude to support for the carrier this year, given the sector’s dire need for cash during the pandemic. report Gulf News.

The extent of assistance could also return the spotlight to an agreement reached two years ago that settled a long-running dispute over government aid in the region, which pitted the largest US airlines against Gulf rivals. American carriers were pushing for a crackdown on what they described as more than $50 billion in unfair subsidies for Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad.

The airline revealed the previously undisclosed cash injections during recent bond investor meetings ahead of a sukuk sale, saying they were carried out until the end of 2019, according to two people familiar with the discussions. It wasn’t immediately clear if payments were made after 2018, when the UAE agreed to increase financial transparency in its airlines as part of a deal with the US.

State-owned Etihad won’t list the bonds and it only shared its prospectus with investors who signed a non-disclosure agreement. The airline declined to comment.






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