Emirates said to be exploring takeover of struggling Etihad

23 September, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Regina Silva
  • An attendee enters an Airbus SE A380 passenger aircraft operated by Etihad Airways PJSC during the 15th Dubai Air Show at Dubai World Central in Dubai United Arab Emirates on Monday Nov. 13 2017. The biennial Dubai expo is an important venue

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported the news that Emirates and Etihad Airways could be in talks over a possible merger which would ultimately create the world's largest airline. The story quoted unnamed sources as saying Emirates was seeking to take over Etihad.

News reports about a potential merger between the two UAE-based airlines have surfaced over the previous year and periodically in the past decade, sparking speculation over such a move, which would create the world's biggest airline by passenger traffic.

"There is no truth to this rumour", an Emirates spokesperson told Business Insider. There have been few cross-border mergers within the UAE, a federation of seven semi-autonomous emirates; such tie-ups require the approval of the ruling families of the emirates involved. It's also the strongest operator on global routes, on account of the success of its Dubai hub.

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Emirates Airline is part of the Emirates Group, which is owned by the Dubai government.

Rumours of the two airlines merging have floated around even in the past. Emirates also owns the world's biggest fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos, according to Bloomberg.

The two airlines, which have been vying for Gulf airline dominance along with Qatar Airways, had entered into agreements to cooperate in some areas earlier this year. Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum last ruled out a merger as recently as May 2018.

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