For years there have been rumors of the possibility of a merger between Emirates and Etihad. The airlines have hubs that are only a short drive apart from one another, and Dubai’s new airport, Dubai World Central, is nearly halfway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While Emirates has done well financially, Etihad hasn’t, so one has to wonder what value they add.
Of course the other side of it is that there’s a lot of pride at stake, given the governments of Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi.
Up until now, rumors of the two airlines merging have always been dismissed, though most of us assumed it would happen eventually. It looks like that time may be sooner than we thought.
Bloomberg is reporting that Emirates is looking to take over Etihad, according to “people familiar with the matter.” The airlines are apparently in preliminary talks, and this would create the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic.
There’s not much other information as of now, so we’ll have to mark this as “developing” for now. It’s telling that Emirates is now looking to take over Etihad, though the big question is how receptive Abu Dhabi is to giving up their “own” airline.
(Tip of the hat to Evan)