Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways is in discussion to change its partnership with equity stake partner, Air Berlin, said Etihad Airways top executive.

 "We are in the final stage of negotiating the next phase of that partnership," said James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and chief executive.

Etihad Airways is reportedly in discussion to increase its stake in the German carrier from almost 30 per cent to 49.9 per cent. Air Berlin will reportedly delist from the London Stock Exchange as part of the deal.

Etihad Airways have previously declined to comment on the reports. Hogan was speaking at the invitation-only Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Hogan said that entering into a minority partnership with Air Berlin had given Etihad access to Germany.

Etihad holds minority stakes in a number of European airlines, including Air Serbia, Aer Lingus, and is awaiting approval for its 33.3 per cent investment stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline.  It is also in due diligence talks with troubled Italian carrier Alitalia to reportedly take an equity stake.

Etihad Airways lifted its profit by 48 per cent in 2013 with its strategy of adding capacity through equity alliances.

In 2013, partnership revenues increased by 30 per cent to $820 million, representing 21 per cent of Etihad's total passenger revenues.