Emirates says no to Qantas stake

21 Jul 2014 by Clement Huang

Emirates has quelled any rumours that it might take up a stake in Qantas, following last week’s decision by the Australian cabinet to approve a proposal that would see foreign ownership restrictions for the national carrier relaxed.

The Gulf carrier and Qantas have established a strong partnership over the past few years, which has seen the two collaborate on flights between Australia and Europe, especially the lucrative the Kangaroo route. But that is as far as Emirates is willing to go, it seems.

In response to an enquiry by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, Emirates vice-president of Hong Kong and Taiwan Edwin Lau said: “Although the foreign ownership restriction in Australia is going to relax, Emirates’ long term expansion strategy is based on organic growth and we remain committed to that. There are no plans to acquire a stake in Qantas or any other airline”.

While competition between the Gulf carriers is heating up, Emirates’ expansion strategy seems markedly different from its two main competitors. It is not following Etihad Airways’ ongoing tactic of equity investments in other airlines as a means to expand its market presence. It has also been adamant that it will not join an alliance, unlike Qatar Airways, which became part of Oneworld last year (see here).

Instead, Emirates prefers to invest in high-density aircraft and deploy more of its flagship A380 superjumbos, sometimes to seemingly niche destinations in which the airline may see long-term potential for profitability and growth.

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Clement Huang

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