The Dubai-based Emirates has denied a Bloomberg report that said it was in talks to acquire Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
"There is no truth to this rumour," an Emirates spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters. Etihad also denied the merger report.
The Bloomberg report, quoting people familiar with the matter, said the merger would create the world’s biggest carrier by passenger traffic.
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 people, who asked not to be named because the matter is confidential, Bloomberg said. The negotiations could yet fall through, they said.
Bloomberg quoted an Emirates spokeswoman as saying the company doesn’t comment on speculation, as did a spokesman for Etihad.
Speculations have long surfaced about a possible merger — not an acquisition — between Etihad and Emirates, but both carriers have repeatedly denied that.