Rival UAE carriers Emirates and Etihad have announced plans to partner on aviation security following reports linking the two last year.
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark dismissed reports that the rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi were discussing a potential merger of the airlines in March but indicated in October they could work more closely together in some areas including procurement.
This idea has now taken shape with the signing of a “historic agreement” between the two for closer collaboration on security matters.
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 with the goal of setting up an in-house security education programme with potential university level accreditation.
“Through this agreement, Emirates Group Security will collaborate with Etihad Aviation Group to share know-how and extend aviation security services in order to better handle shared challenges, which ultimately benefits travellers,” said Emirates Group chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
The agreement was signed by Clark and Etihad’s newly joined group CEO Tony Douglas, the former chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports Company.