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No plans for Emirates-Etihad merger anytime soon – Tim Clark

No plans for Emirates-Etihad merger anytime soon – Tim Clark

The decision on a merger is in the “hands of the shareholders”, says Emirates president

There are no immediate plans for a merger between Dubai airline Emirates and Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways, a senior official has confirmed.

“That is in the hands of the shareholders,” Emirates president Tim Clark told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday.

“On the short-term, medium-term horizon, I would say no.”

There have been reports that talks were taking place to combine the two airlines.

In May, Emirates said it was exploring a closer relationship with Etihad.

The airline will continue looking at ways to operate “more efficiently,” including working with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad as long as it is not against the law or in breach of competition rules, chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said at the time.

“We will always be happy to cooperate with them,” he said. “It has nothing to do with a merger.”

The two airlines could consider joint purchases and sharing facilities in countries that they both fly to, Sheikh Ahmed added.

Read more: Dubai’s Emirates looks at closer Etihad ties

In October last year, Clark also indicated that some cooperation was possible between the rival airlines.

“I think there is value to be had working more closely with them,” Clark told Reuters.

“There are many areas that the airlines could work together on, like procurement,” he said.

Read: Emirates president says could work with Etihad in some areas

In January, the two airlines also announced plans to partner on aviation security.

The memorandum of understanding will seek to exploit “joint synergies” and “enhance efficiency and security” and will include the sharing of information and intelligence between Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group.

The two carriers will also work together on operational areas both inside and outside the UAE and Emirates will offer security training and education programmes to Etihad staff.

Read more: UAE’s Emirates and Etihad sign security deal

Earlier this week, Clark indicated that Emirates was facing a “double whammy” of rising oil prices and the strengthening dollar.

The airline, which posted a net income of Dhs4.11bn ($1.1bn) in the 12 months ended March 31, is however seeing strong bookings for the summer despite higher ticket prices, he added.

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