Emirates said to be exploring takeover of struggling Etihad

Mae Love
September 23, 2018

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Emirates and Etihad were in the early stages of merger talks.

Emirates and Etihad Airways, two state-owned airlines in the United Arab Emirates, denied a September 20 Bloomberg report they are preparing to combine to create the world's largest airline.

Emirates Airline has denied a report that it is considering a takeover of fellow Persian Gulf carrier Etihad.

Rumours of the two airlines merging have floated around even in the past.

For Abu Dhabi, which sits on 6 percent of global oil reserves, it would advance a drive to overhaul state-controlled entities as it adapts to lower crude prices.

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In January, Emirates Airline President Sir Tim Clark told Business Insider that an Etihad merger was not in his plans at the time, but he did not rule out the possibility of a deal.

Dublin Int'l and Abu Dhabi Int'l airports are 116 kilometres apart.

Etihad is in rebuilding mode after an aggressive global expansion strategy with heavy investments in several struggling worldwide airlines left the carrier exposed financially.

A few stations have been removed from the new Etihad Cargo freighter network, the largest of which was Nairobi, citing weakening demand and market behaviours that rendered other core markets more attractive to serve. Dubai is developing a new airport that will one day be able to handle around 200 million passengers a year and replace Dubai International, now the world's busiest airport for international passenger traffic, as Emirates' hub. Emirates also owns the world's biggest fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, a new terminal is scheduled to open next year at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where Etihad is based.

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