Slovenia-based Adria Airways, through its Swiss subsidiary, has purchased a 99.1% share in Switzerland-based regional carrier Darwin Airline for an undisclosed sum.

The airline is expecting to acquire the remaining shares in Darwin Airline soon.

The latest deal was completed after Etihad Airways and other shareholders of Darwin Airline sold their stakes in the Swiss carrier.

With the closing of the deal, Darwin Airline will continue to operate under its own name and with its own air operator’s certificate (AOC) from its bases at Lugano and Geneva in Switzerland.

Adria Airways will also take over some of Darwin’s administrative and operational tasks and will market the newly acquired airline’s services.

"Our experienced commercial department will market Darwin’s flights under the Darwin name.” 

Adria Airways CEO Arno Schuster said: “Extending our network and, consequently, optimising cost structures will create a win-win situation for both carriers.

“Our experienced commercial department will market Darwin’s flights under the Darwin name.”

Since 2014, Darwin Airline has been operating under the name of ‘Etihad Regional’ in several European countries, after its stake was acquired by Etihad Airways.

However, with the latest deal, Darwin Airline will no longer use the Etihad Regional name to operate.

Darwin Airline board of directors chairman Emilio Martinenghi said: “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.”

Established in 2003, Darwin Airline mainly seeks to connect the southern part of Switzerland with the country’s main Zurich and Geneva financial centres and airline hubs.