Emirates talking Etihad takeover?

There have been rumours about a possible Emirates Etihad merger for a long time. It seems this is finally going to go somewhere.

Etihad has not performed well financially, mainly due to their investments in various failed airlines. Abu Dhabi & Dubai are just 1.5 hours from each other, with both being mega hubs for Middle Eastern airlines, which depend on connecting traffic for their existence. It makes sense to pool resources than compete with each other. The new airport, Dubai World Central, which is going to be one of the largest airports in the world, is halfway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, could help achieve that.

Emirates Etihad Merger

Bloomberg reported that preliminary talks have begun between the two airlines. Emirates and Etihad both denied the report saying that there is no truth to this rumour. Though it has always been this case. Whenever there is a rumour of the two airlines merging, it is denied.

Etihad and Emirates have increased collaboration over the year, with Etihad offering their pilots on secondment to Emirates. Will they take a huge leap forward for a mutually beneficial deal? Only time will tell. Also, there is pride involved as Abu Dhabi will have to give up their airline if they were to be acquired, and Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE.

If this does go through, Emirates + Etihad will be the largest airline in the world by passenger numbers.

[Ed’s note: It should be a logical step forward for the airlines to combine. The question then is when not if.]

Will the merger ever happen? What do you think about this move?


  1. Now that I think about it, Emirates+Etihad might be the largest airline by ASKs!

    If I am not wrong, it should have ~480b ASKs while American should have ~450b ASKs.

  2. Good article! BUT…

    Emirates and Etihad combined carried ~80 million passengers.

    American Airlines alone carried ~200 million passengers.

    So Emirates+Etihad will NOT be the largest airline in the world by passenger numbers.

    It won’t even be the largest airline by international passenger numbers as that title goes to Ryanair.

  3. I suspect that any possible “merger” will result from a financial melt down in Dubai.
    The “Burj Khalifa” name was purchased by a large influx of cash to solve Dubai’s financial problems.
    Abu Dhabi will not let Dubai take over Etihad unless it appears on surface to still be the National Airline of the UAE based in Abu Dhabi.
    When Dubai runs our of money to launder this may happen.

  4. Hi Karan,

    Though a logical step for both the airlines and definitely a good move financially for those airlines. But I believe this will not happen just for the reason both the emirates consider the airlines as their child and will not be easy for them to let go.

    Emirates was the among the early few to start an airlines from Dubai and was very successful in the same venture, looking at it Etihad took on at such a massive scale very later (though they have come very strong). Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi cosider these airlines as their price jewel and they would not like to part controlling ways.

    Just wondering what will happen to Arsenal or Man City will they merge too 😛 🙂 or they distribute the price earned from the Arsenal stadium (just weird thoughts).

    Rahul Goel

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