Darwin’s Evolution

Photo: Darwin will become Adria Airways Switzerland as part of the deal. (Photo Craig West)


Darwin Airline is set for a major overhaul after being acquired by Luxembourg-based private equity fund 4K Invest, owner of Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways.

Under the terms of the deal, the Lugano-based carrier will continue to operate under its own Air Operator Certificate but will be rebranded as Adria Airways Switzerland.

“Darwin is an excellent airline with experienced management and staff,” Adria CEO Dr Arno Schuster remarked.  “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 brand name Adria Airways Switzerland.”

The Swiss carrier, which employs around 400 staff, had previously operated as Etihad Regional following a partial buyout by UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways in 2014.  Its sale comes amid a major review of the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s European portfolio.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Aviation Group’s Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “The decision to sell this [33.3%] minority stake in Darwin is a result of the ongoing strategic review of our investments and a decision to concentrate on our other partnerships.”

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