Etihad Airways exits property deals as restructure continues

Published in GSN, 7 March 2019

Etihad Airways is offloading its stakes in two real estate developments that share its name, Etihad Plaza and Etihad Airways Centre, while taking full control of its own headquarters building, in a Dh1.2bn ($327m) deal with the local Aldar Investment Properties. Previously the three properties were owned in a 50/50 joint venture between the two companies. The deal, announced on 27 February, should be wrapped up before the end of June. As part of the transaction, Aldar will assume the existing debt attached to Etihad Plaza and Etihad Airways Centre, but from now on it will also be able to collect all of the Dh100m net operating income from the two properties, which together have 789 residential units, 17,940 square meters of office space and 11,000 sq m of retail space.

The transaction comes as the airline, which has been flying since November 2003, continues with a wide-ranging restructuring effort prompted by the failure of its previous strategy of investing in troubled second-tier airlines in other markets (GSN 1,036/12). As part of that, the airline has been steadily scaling back its operations. According to its most recently published data, it now serves 91 destinations, down from 116 in 2015.

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