Etihad Airways and Emirates are in talks on sharing equipment purchases and technology services to allow UAE carriers to save costs, Etihad’s chief executive said.
Etihad and Emirates could make joint orders of equipment or share information technology and engineering services, James Hogan said.
“It could be in the area of purchasing to get a better deal. We can co-operate in non-competitive areas where we both buy or we both need services,” he said.
Emirates said it would consider co-operation with Etihad.
“We are always prepared to look at areas where there may be scope for co-operation with other players in the industry,” said Mike Simon, director of corporate communications for Emirates.
“We look at the possibilities as they arrive on a case by case basis.”
Both airlines are expanding fleets to cater for the Middle East market, where demand for air travel surged 18.1 per cent last year in terms of passenger-kilometres, faster than any other region, according to IATA.
Emirates, the world’s eighth-largest international air passenger carrier in 2005, operates a fleet of 102 aircraft and has more than 100 on order, including the Airbus A380, which will be the world’s largest passenger aircraft when it comes into service.
Etihad operates a fleet of 25 aircraft and expects to carry 4.5 million passengers this year after adding eight aircraft and seven destinations.