Etihad Airways has completed the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Alitalia.
The new company will be fully operational effective January 1, 2015, according to a statement by the two airlines.
Etihad announced the purchase back in June, in what was at the time the UAE airline's biggest investment in a foreign carrier. The purchase gave Etihad access to the Italian market, deepening its foothold in Europe. The airline also has a stake in Air Berlin and a revenue-sharing partnership with Air France-KLM, which holds a 7 percent stake in Alitalia.
The two airlines plan to focus on long-haul flights from both Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa.