ETIHAD Airways will add to its growth through investments in other airlines such as Virgin Australia, its chief says.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has snapped up stakes in four different carriers this year, with Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer James Hogan saying the investments were about building growth and scale.
"It's about building on our organic growth over the next seven years," he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
"We see it as a way to compete. Aviation is changing."
Mr Hogan said the airline would be operating about 71 aircraft to 86 cities and turnover in excess of $8.94billion by the end of this year.
"Over the next seven years we're taking 100 more aircraft," he said.
In June, the airline won approval to increase its stake in Virgin Australia, the nation's second-largest carrier, from just under five per cent to 10 per cent.
Etihad announced in May it had acquired a stake of 2.987 per cent in Dublin-based Aer Lingus, adding to its 30 per cent controlling interest in Germany's second-largest airline airberlin and 40 per cent holding in Air Seychelles, the island country's national carrier.
"Early days but it's working well with Virgin, with airberlin, just starting with Aer Lingus and Air Seychelles of course," he said.