Suggestions have emerged over the past few days that the United Arab Emirates carriers could be considering tighter forms of co-operation. Rumors between Emirates Airlines pilots’ families spread that Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will form a merger with Emirates Airlines.
According Flightglobal.com Middle Eastern carrier Emirates’ management insists it has not received any indications from its Government owners regarding a possible tie-up with neighboring carrier Etihad Airways.
Emirates Airline produced a net profit of Dh 284 million (US $77 million), for the first six months of its current financial year ending 30th September 2008. This is down 88 per cent compared to Dh 2.36 billion ($643 million) net profits for the same period in 2007, showing the impact of the record fuel prices earlier this year.
Emirates Airline’s president Tim Clark, tells ATI: “We have had no instructions, intimations or guidance from our owners, whatsoever.”
“Rumours abound and this is one of many,” says Clark.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is firmly denying that any discussions are taking place over a link with Emirates.
“Etihad’s policy is normally not to comment on speculation. However, in this case we can categorically state that there are no talks – either formal or informal – about any possible merger and acquisition activity between Etihad Airways and Emirates,” insists a spokesman for Etihad.
Last year Etihad stated that it was examining the potential for co-operation with Emirates, to take advantage of combined purchasing power, although this was limited to non-competitive areas.