Etihad Airways, a key investor in Alitalia is of the firm belief that Alitalia has ‘fantastic potential to grow’ – but only if it embraces change.
James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways and vice chairman of Alitalia was recently speaking in Milan to the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds said: “Last year, Alitalia was on the verge of collapse. We invested Euro 560 million as part of a Euro 1.76 billion restructure of Alitalia. Today, we are the largest single shareholder, with a 49% stake. What did we see in Alitalia that nobody else did? A great brand, great network, but a poor business in need of a new direction.”
Hogan further added that Etihad Airways saw great potential for both airlines to grow efficiently by working together. “Partnership offers lower risks, greater rewards and faster outcomes than ‘going it alone’,” he said.
Recently, Etihad Airways and six equity partners, including Alitalia, participated in an innovative capital raising, through which US$700 million was collectively sourced from global financial markets.