UAE airlines Emirates, Etihad deny media report they may merge

Marco Green
September 23, 2018

Commenting on the new cargo route network, a spokesperson for the UAE carrier said: "The new freighter network will see the airline increase existing Boeing 777 freighter frequencies into key markets in China and India, adding one weekly rotation each into Shanghai and Chennai".

According to IATA statistics, Emirates is the world's fourth largest airline by passenger numbers, behind American, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

The report, citing sources familiar with the matter, states that merger talks are in their early stages.

However, Emirates quickly denied the report.

After the publication of the report, both Emirates and Etihad have told Reuters there was no truth to this "rumour".

However, Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum ruled out a merger in May this year.

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

That contributed to a $1.52 billion loss in 2017, taking the two-year deficit at the airline unit to nearly $3.5 billion. "But we're not the owners". The negotiations could yet fall through, they said.

Emirates is owned by the government of Dubai, while Etihad is controlled by the government of neighboring Abu Dhabi.

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