Emirates airline has said it has no plans to invest in struggling South African Airways (SAA).
South African media reported that talks between Emirates and SAA about a possible partnership have been going on for some months, facilitated by the UAE’s embassy in Pretoria. It also said that Etihad Airways has also been holding separate negotiations with SAA.
The Dubai carrier said while it will continue with its current codeshare partnership with SAA, and possibly enhance it in the future, Emirates denied that it has plans to invest in SAA.
“Emirates continues to focus on its organic growth and strategic codeshare partnerships where it makes sense for our business and customers,” said an Emirates spokesperson told Arabian Business.
“We are committed to the South African market and have enjoyed close co-operation with South African Airways (SAA) since 1997, and we are working closely to further enhance our codeshare.
“However, we have no plans to invest or take any equity share in SAA or any other airline.”
Etihad Airways also responded to the media report with a statement to Arabian Business saying, “Etihad Airways does not comment on rumour or speculation.”
SAA Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana has repeatedly said an aviation investor could be the answer to the financial crisis at SAA, which hasn’t made a profit since 2011 and received a government bailout last year to avoid a debt default.
A partner would enable SAA to share costs, improve customer service and receive a capital injection, Jarana said in an interview after taking the role in November.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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