Emirates remains undaunted by the merger of American carriers Delta and Northwest, which would create the world’s biggest airline. The Dubai-based carrier has also ruled out plans to acquire other airlines as part of its expansion programme.
An Emirates spokesperson said their business strategy is to grow organically. “At present we are busy developing our own full-service, scheduled airline, which currently serves 62 countries with a fleet of wide-bodied aircraft. We have no plans to grow the airline through acquisition at this time,” the spokesperson told Emirates Business.
Emirates also failed to comment on industry speculations regarding the possible effects of the Delta-Northwest merger with its North American operations.
“Emirates has successfully launched three gateways in [the North American] market – all of which are performing very well. By the end of 2008, we will increase that number to five gateways across the continent,” he said. The carrier currently flies to New York, Houston and Toronto and plans to launch non-stop services from Dubai to Los Angeles in September and San Francisco in October.
On Monday, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines announced its agreement to merge their all-stock transaction, which will have a combined enterprise value of $17.7 billion (Dh65 billion). The move was finalised during a crucial time in the US aviation industry when airlines are either filing for bankruptcy or reporting major losses.
Delta said the merger will prevent further financial losses to both carriers due to soaring fuel prices.
A spokesperson for Delta also mentioned their customers will benefit from Northwest’s extensive service to Asian markets and Northwest’s customers will have access to Delta’s flight connections across the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The spokesperson, however, refused to comment when asked if Delta, which currently operates direct flights between Atlanta and Dubai, has any plans to open more direct routes between the emirate and other US states.
The new combined airline will be called Delta and will continue to operate hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City, Amsterdam and Tokyo-Narita.
Emirates rules out acquisition route for expansion