Emirates Airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed has hit out at rumours of a possible merger with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, insisting "there is no such plan".
The Dubai carrier has been the subject of year long speculation, fuelled by the global financial crisis, that an alliance with Etihad was being discussed.
However, in an interview with CEO Middle East to be published next week, he flatly denied any such move – claiming it was the rumour mill working over time.
“There is nothing like that [alliance]. There is always a lot of rumour, people will try and put things together," he said.
"People have the right to say what they think but the problem is sometimes they believe it themselves. They come up with something and they believe it that it is happening. There is no such plan,” he added.
Sheikh Ahmed also used the interview to dismiss suggestions that the airline could seek a public listing (IPO) to raise funds, saying: “Ruled out? It was never ruled in. It’s an idea people made up."
He added: "A lot of reporters usually push that story. Anything is possible. If you want to do an IPO you have to find the right time and price but it is not something on my desk."