The Times of Malta reports that Etihad Airways is concluding negotiations with the Maltese National Airline to buy a significant stake in Air Malta.

The online newspaper reports that the “government has declared on various occasions that it will retain the majority shareholding in Air Malta. However, the deal is expected to be such that the national airline of the United Arab Emirates will have a significant say in the management of the carrier and its day-to-day operations.”

Under EU rules, Etihad can only acquire less that 50% of Air Malta’s shareholding if the airline is to continue operating under a European licence.