It looks like executives at EK and EY are discussing more formally ways that the two carriers could co-operate in areas such as engineering and technology. Both are quick to mention their independent operations and growth strategies, but there seems to be an underlying tone to the articles that suggest there is scope for closer partnership in the future. Sounds sensible to me, but attempts at co-operation between states and companies in the Gulf region have something of a mixed record. On the one hand, Qatar has started pumping natural gas to the UAE through the 'Dolphin' project (despite big objections from the Saudis) but the deadline for introducing a much-heralded GCC common currency keeps getting pushed back, among the major squabbles, 'Who should have the prestige of hosting the central bank?'. What do you all think - how likely is meaningful co-operation or consolidation amongst the Middle Eastern carriers and over what timescale? Who knows, could the all new mega-project that is JXB 'World Central' (cringe) become the future airport for both Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
http://www.emiratestodayonline.com/ - p11 Business:
"Etihad’s Chief Executive Officer James Hogan recently said the airline is in discussions with Emirates to establish areas of opportunity and synergies that could help both the airlines.
“We look at these possibilities as they arise on a caseby-case basis and proceed with those that make sense, and are in line with our commercial objectives,” said Emirates’ spokesperson.
“While Emirates has an aggressive independent growth strategy, we are always prepared to look at areas where there may be scope for co-operation with other players in the industry,” an Emirates’ spokesperson told Emirates Today.
Citing an example, the spokesperson said the airline’s Mercator division, a part of the Emirates Group, is a leading supplier of IT solutions to the global air travel industry. “The division currently works with more than 50 other airlines, including Etihad in the area of IT (information technology),” said the spokesperson."