October 12, 2017
Emirates and its rival Gulf airline Etihad eye potential cooperation
According to Reuters, in a conversation between the news reporter and the Emirates president, Tim Clark has been quoted as saying that in relation to cooperating with Etihad: “I think there is value to be had working more closely with them.”
Clark added that: “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. It is my superiors who have to make that call, not me.”
Clark was then pressed as to whether a merger similar to that formed by Air France and KLM was possible, to which he responded: “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.”
Etihad has recently been hit by loss-making investments in Air Berlin and Italy’s Alitalia, but a spokesman for the airline said in response to Clark’s remarks that it was common for airlines to leverage in-country expertise and economies of scale. “We constantly seek opportunities for innovative collaboration with other organisations, where it makes business and commercial sense.”
Etihad announced last month that it would be appointing Tony Douglas, former head of Abu Dhabi’s airport and London’s Heathrow, as its CEO from January as it rethinks its expansion strategy.