UAE: Etihad, Emirates airlines brush off merger report

UAE’s top two airlines have mocked reports indicating that the two firms are in talks for Emirates take over its Abu-Dhabi-based rival Etihad Airways in a move to form the world’s largest airline.

A Bloomberg report citing sources, claiming to be knowledgeable of the alleged talks, said the two global airlines could reach a merger deal in which the Dubai-based airline would control the main airline business of Etihad Airways.

The talks, which are at a preliminary stage, would see Emirates acquire the main airline business of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which would keep its maintenance arm, according to the sources, who asked not to be named because the matter is confidential, Bloomberg said.

Emirates via one of its spokesperson said “there is no truth to this rumor.”

“Emirates does not comment on rumors or speculation,” the official added.

Etihad gave a similar response: “There is no truth to this story.”

Reports of tie-up between the two airlines had emerged several times in the past but both firms repeatedly denied any plan of merger.

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