Emirates Chairman and CEO says airlines can cooperate without merging
Emirates chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said on Wednesday that a merger with UAE rival Etihad Airways has never been discussed "in any way shape or form” but that carriers could share facilities and services, according to a report by Arabian Business, although the UAE’s two biggest airlines are exploring how to maximise cooperation with each other.
He said that healthy competition between the two airlines is good but conceded that both airlines could work together by utilising each other’s facilities and services.
In 2017 Etihad unveiled a plan in to explore a closer relationship with German carrier Lufthansa, under former CEO James Hogan, with the initial agreements signed between the two carriers including a catering, maintenance and ground handling agreement with Lufthansa’s respective divisions in Munich.
Sheikh Ahmed highlighted that a cooperation could emerge between the Dubai-based carrier and the UAE’s national airline in terms of ground handling, saying that at the moment the Dubai National Air Transpart Association (Dnata) operates across the world, including cities Etihad flies to.
His remarks on the matter followed Emirates Group’s announcement of AED4.1 billion profit for the financial year ended 31 March, a 67 per cent improvement from the same period last year. Revenue totalled AED102.4 billion, an increase of eight per cent over last year’s results, and the cash balance increased by 33 per cent to AED25.4 billion. The increase was supported by the bond issued in March and strong sales due to the early Easter holidays at the end of March.