Back in September, we reported the story that Emirates could be merging with Etihad to create a mega-airline. If Emirates and Etihad were to merge, they would have one of the world’s largest fleets by seat number. The story was originally broken by Bloomberg who were quoting an unnamed source close to the airline. Now it seems as though the Emirates Etihad merger won’t be happening any time soon as more information has been released by Gulf News. Emirates told the outlet that there was no truth to the rumour of a merger.
Bloomberg previously reported “The talks, which are at a preliminary stage, would see Dubai-based Emirates acquire the main airline business of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which would keep its maintenance arm, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is confidential. The negotiations could yet fall through, they said.”
Hubert Frach is Emirates chief of commercial operations in Europe and the Americas. He today went on to explain that there was no truth to the rumours of a merger: “We can make it very simple, very easy: There’s no truth to the rumour. No truth. And end of story. It’s publicly available news. We have a couple of agreements with them, for instance group security has a memorandum of understanding (MoU), so we look at synergies, but the talk about a merger — there’s not truth in it. Once again, what we’re looking at right now is synergies, small-scale stuff. We are definitely not on the road to a merger. That is absolutely rumour and I don’t where this came from.”
It appears as though the airline is only interested in low-level partnerships with its fellow UAE airline at the moment. As we currently know Etihad is struggling financially, while Emirates is flourishing, who knows if a merger could be on the table at a later date. The fact that Bloomberg published the story back in September seems to add some credibility to the rumour, even though the airline is denying it. It could be the case that talks are at a very preliminary stage, and the airline doesn’t want to affect anything by announcing the talks.
World’s Largest Fleet
A merger between Emirates and Etihad would see a huge airline created. The airline would most likely fly from Dubai World Central Airport (DWC), a brand new mega airport. DWC is located equidistant between Emirates’ and Etihad’s bases of Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. The fleet of a merged airline would be substantial as Emirates currently operates the largest fleet of A380s. Ignoring all of the other aircraft, there would be a total of over 500 B777 and A380 aircraft in such an airline’s fleet.
For now, we’ll have to wait to see if the rumours of an Emirates Etihad merger begin to materialise. Do you think a merger is still on the cards one day? Let us know in the comments down below!