posted on 12/06/2012: 566 views
Beijing - Emirates' President, Tim Clark, on Monday denied outright recent reports Emirates is in talks with Qantas for a potential stake in the Australian carrier.
"I had a chat with Alan Joyce [Qantas' CEO] about codeshares and then the next thing we hear that Emirates is buying Qantas. It's not true at all. We are not at all buying a stake in Qantas,” Clark told Gulf News on the sidelines on IATA's annual meeting in Beijing yesterday, rubbishing reports in the media over the past few days.
Qantas was reported to be in secret talks with Emirates about the possibility of an equity tie-up after its share price ebbed to A$1 (Dh3.65) last week.
Clarifying that Qantas has not initiated any stake talks with Emirates, Clark said: "They have not approached us for a stake. And we don't have to go to the equity level.
"They are looking for somewhere to strengthen their international business. So if it's something that value adds both to their operations and us, we would look at it. But that's all.”
Across the globe
He added that Emirates has codeshare with many airlines across the globe such as with Philippine Airlines, South African Airways, JetBlue, Thai International, American Airlines. "We have codeshares everywhere. And now, we do want one in Australia,” he said.
Asked if such a deal will help Emirates expand its foothold into the Australian market, Clark said: "We have got an enormous foothold in Australia — we have got about 73 frequencies there at the moment. We can go up to 84.”
He was quick to add: "But don't forget, in 1996 when we started the route, we wanted to do codeshares with Qantas then but they didn't want to do it then. And I think they are willing to do it now.”
Commenting on the exact status of the codeshare talks, Clark said: "If we did it — don't know yet whether or not we will, it has to stack up for us and it will have to stack up for Qantas. If it's neutral, then you won't do it, if it's negative, you certainly won't do it, if potentially it adds value and has legs on it and sustains longevity in a commercial arrangement, then you might do it. We are still studying the possibility.”
Clark added that Emirates was looking at other codeshares. "We have got under study other codeshares with other carriers such as TAP Air Portugal in Lisbon, Iberia in Spain — all those are interested in coming in,” he said. – Gulf News
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