Emirates seeking cooperation with Etihad
Emirates seeks closer ties with rival Etihad but wants to remain a separate carrier, a German press report said yesterday in an interview with the company's boss. "We are still on our own and that is fine," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum told the daily Die Welt, without elaborating on the form of cooperation under consideration with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad.
The airline boss said that Dubai-based Emirates was not interested in investing in European airlines, such as the low-cost carrier Air Berlin. "We have decided not to buy stakes. We don't need them," he explained. Press reports have said the government of Abu Dhabi wants to take over several companies in neighboring Dubai.
The president of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, has rejected such reports however, saying the two biggest UAE members would cooperate to pull through the global economic crisis.
Abu Dhabi controls almost all of the seven-member UAE's oil reserves, while Dubai had embarked on an ambitious building program that has been undercut by public debt which is estimated at around $80 billion (60 billion euros).
A source close to the European plane maker Airbus told AFP on Thursday that Emirates was seeking a delay in the delivery of several long-haul A380 superjumbo jets because of financing difficulties. The airline is Airbus's biggest customer for the double-decker A380, having ordered 58 of them. - AFP