Darwin Airline SA is a Swiss airline which operates under the name “Etihad Regional” in various European countries. The existing shareholders, including Darwin’s strategic partner Etihad, have agreed to sell and transfer their shares on 20 July 2017 to Swiss subsidiary of Adria Airways.
Under the terms of agreement, Darwin will continue to operate under its own name and with its own air operator’s certificate (AOC) from its Lugano base in Southern Switzerland and from its base in Geneva. Adria Airways will take over some of Darwin’s administrative and operational tasks and will market the Swiss airline’s services.
“Darwin is an excellent airline with experienced management and staff. Extending our network and, consequently, optimizing cost structures will create a win-win situation for both carriers,” says Arno Schuster, CEO of Adria Airways. “Our experienced commercial department will market Darwin’s flights under the Darwin name”.
Darwin Airline was founded in 2003 with the prime aim of connecting the southern part of Switzerland, the Ticino, and its economy with the country’s main Zurich and Geneva financial centers and airline hubs. Following the acquisition of its shares by Etihad Airways, Darwin joined the Etihad Group of airlines in 2014 and adopted the Etihad Regional marketing name, which will now no longer be used.
“We are convinced that with its extensive expertise, its strong route network, especially in the Southeast European market, Adria Airways will be very beneficial not only to the future of Darwin but also to the Ticino region we serve, which needs good connections with the rest of Switzerland and throughout Europe,” says Emilio Martinenghi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Darwin Airline.
The parties involved have agreed to maintain confidentiality on the terms of the sale transaction. Darwin made a small profit in 2016 and has a positive outlook for the current year.