Etihad Airways is a flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. Established by Royal decree and based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad commenced operations in 2003. The name means “union” in Arabic. In addition to its core activity of passenger transportation, Etihad also operates Etihad Holidays and Etihad Cargo.
In 2011, Etihad announced it had taken a almost 30% stake in Air Berlin. It followed this up with minority stakes in Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia. Also, Etihad is close to acquiring a stake in Indian carrier Jet Airways. In 2013, a deal was signed, giving Etihad a 49% stake in the Serbian national carrier Jat Airways. A complete re-branding of Jat Airways was planned, including a name change. The new company is named Air Serbia. At the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Etihad announced that it was acquiring a 33.3% stake in the Swiss carrier Darwin Airline. Darwin was rebranded as Etihad Regional from March 2014. On August 1, 2014, Etihad agreed to take a 49% stake in the troubled Italian flag carrier Alitalia.