Sheikhs Discussed Emirates-Etihad Merger

The airlines Etihad and Emirates, both based in the United Arab Emirates, are bitter rivals, but increasing competition may soon turn them into partners. The ruling familes of the United Arab Emirates, which control the Emirates and Etihad airlines, have held talks about possibly merging the two airlines, Handelsblatt has learnt from several sources. The Gulf carriers are experiencing turbulent times after years of growth and expansion: both are struggling with falling profits and a changing industry. The possibility of consolidating the two state-owned carriers would not be easy, and require a huge amount of effort, but is clearly not out of the question anymore. Etihad has in the past said it is not even considering scenarios that would include a closer association, let alone a merger, with Emirates. The airline said that there are currently no talks between the two companies, ?Economically and strategically, a cooperation, or maybe even merger, between Etihad and Emirates would without a doubt make sense,? said Gerald Wissel of Hamburg-based aviation consulting agency Airborne Consulting. ?But a lot of national sensitivities would have to be overcome. It?s not a simple topic.? Courtesy: handelsblatt.com

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