Emirates says

Emirates says "collaboration yes, merger no" on Etihad rumours

Emirates is focused on organic growth and remains averse to expanding through acquisitions, an executive for the Dubai airline has said, repeating a denial that the Persian Gulf giant is in talks to take over the airline arm of unprofitable neighbour Etihad.

“Sure we want to lift synergies and create more efficiencies, but that is not a merger,” Hubert Frach, Emirates’s head of commercial operations for the Americas and Europe, said in an interview in Edinburgh on Monday. “DNA-wise we come from a completely different angle. The key success formula for Emirates is organic growth."

"It gives us the speed, independence and agility," Frach said after the carrier’s inaugural flight to Edinburgh. "It’s not so much partnership, it’s not so much forming alliances.”

Bloomberg News reported on September 20 that Emirates, already the world's biggest international airline, was exploring a deal with Etihad to make it the world’s number one airline by passenger traffic, citing people familiar with the matter. Both airlines initially declined to comment, before later saying no talks were underway.

“There is no truth to it,” Frach said about reported talks to combine the businesses. “Zero truth.”

Also read: Why an Emirates-Etihad merger would be the airline deal of the decade

Frach said Emirates isn’t against cooperation in principle – such as code-share deals and its alliance with Qantas – and confirmed comments earlier this year from Tim Clark, Emirates’s president, suggesting it and Etihad will look at ways of collaborating. The pair already work closely on group security and share some passenger lounges, Frach said.

Emirates and Etihad have traditionally been arch rivals, with their hubs competing to attract the same transfer passengers making long-distance trips between Asia and the West. Any deal would require the blessing of the rulers of the richest sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates.

 

3 comments

  • Andrew

    andyf

    2 Oct, 2018 07:19 pm

    Realistically how would a merger work?

    Surely they would want to consolidate competing routes, and presumably if it was an Emirates majority venture then Abu Dhabi would be the loser - although I have no idea how Emirati politics works and how it would play out.

    Emirates would be buying a reduction in competition (which if Etihad continues the way its going would be the result anyway) and a fleet of extra aircraft and lounges (mostly in cities it already has its own, presumably).

    I guess politically it consolidates the major emirate airlines and allows them to position to focus competition with Qatar; whom they are not particularly friendly with?
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  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    3 Oct, 2018 09:16 am

    If they built HIGH SPEED rail connection between the two airports (max 20mins) then it would truly be a super hub that might dominate for 10 -20 years
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  • P1

    P1

    3 Oct, 2018 04:04 pm

    This makes no sense, anywhere I fly the A380 is my first choice, if Emirates don't have one, I'll chose another carrier.

    Presumably this is something to do with the on again/of again bromance with Qantas.
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20 May, 2019 01:05 pm

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