Emirates willing to co-operate with rival UAE Etihad Airline
Source: from Thomson Reuters - 11 Oct 2017
Emirates [EMIRA.UL] is open to cooperation with rival Etihad Airways in areas including procurement, its president Tim Clark said on Wednesday, adding a full merger between the pair was unlikely but up to the owners.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, Emirates and Etihad have competed to build global networks from their respective hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, even as they battled overcapacity, security concerns and a fall in regional business travel.
"I think there is value to be had working more closely with them," Clark told Reuters by phone, adding there might be concerns from regulators in some foreign markets.
"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," he said.
"It is my superiors who have to make that call, not me."
When asked if the pair could pursue a merger along the lines of Europe's Air France and KLM, Clark said: "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."
Emirates is owned by the Dubai government while Etihad is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.
Etihad, which has been hit by loss-making investments in Air Berlin and Italy's Alitalia [CAITLA.UL], 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," an Etihad spokesman said in an emailed statement.
Emirates, a bigger airline than Etihad, is the largest customer for the Airbus SE A380, a plane facing slowing production rates due to a lack of sales.
Clark said an order for more was under consideration, adding that any A380 order would help replace 25 A380s due to be retired in the mid-2020s.
He did not give any details on the likely volume of any order or whether a deal would be signed at the Dubai Airshow next month.
"Airbus would love us to do that but we've got a few things to sort out first so I'm not sure that we’ll get there for the airshow," he said.
The airline is separately looking at the Airbus A350 and the Boeing Co 787 to meet its needs in the 250-300 seat market, Clark said. Last month he told Aviation Week magazine that a planned order was "off the table for now".
In 2014, Emirates canceled an order for 70 A350s.
Clark said Emirates' procurement and operational groups were engaging with both manufacturers about potential orders.
"I don't want to focus on the Dubai Airshow," he said of the timing. "The important thing is to get the right deal for the company at the time that suits us, not driven by a guillotine of the middle of November."
Source: Thomson Reuters
Another piece of news from Emirates website:
From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland and instead focus on its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service. Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, and the airline is also evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai.
At the same time, to provide greater choice across the Tasman, Qantas will increase the frequency of its services between the two countries, adding seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland. Some of these services will be up-gauged from a 737 to a wide-body A330.
Qantas’ new trans-Tasman services will carry Emirates code and will connect seamlessly to Qantas’ London services via Perth or Singapore and Emirates’ services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.