Singapore : Emirates is open to cooperation with rival Etihad Airways in areas including procurement, its president Tim Clark said yesterday, adding a full merger between the pair was unlikely but up to the owners.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, Emirates and Etihad have competed to build global networks from their respective hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, even as they battled overcapacity, security concerns and a fall in regional business travel.
“I think there is value to be had working more closely with them,” Clark told Reuters by phone, adding there might be concerns from regulators in some foreign markets.
“There are many areas that the airlines could work together on like procurement. But we have to go the first jump first to understand what it is we could do and I‘m simply the manager of one of the businesses,” he said. “It is my superiors who have to make that call, not me.”
When asked if the pair could pursue a merger along the lines of Europe’s Air France and KLM, Clark said: “I don’t think that will be the case but it is not my call, really. It is whatever (the shareholders) may do in the future.”
Emirates is owned by the Dubai government while Etihad is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.