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Opinion
David Fickling

Emirates-Etihad Sibling Rivalry Won’t Have a Happy Ending

A host of complications awaits any merger between the two airlines.

A takeover by Emirates of Etihad Airways PJSC would create the world’s biggest airline by seat capacity. 

A takeover by Emirates of Etihad Airways PJSC would create the world’s biggest airline by seat capacity. 

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

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A takeover by Emirates of Etihad Airways PJSC is the megadeal that has to happen in the global airline industry. At the same time, it’s a poisoned chalice for the suitor that may hobble its growth plans for a generation.

The two carriers are in preliminary talks over a deal, people familiar with the matter told Layan Odeh, Dinesh Nair and Benjamin Katz of Bloomberg News on Thursday. Any discussions may be protracted because combining these two airlines will be as difficult and risky as getting hedgehogs to mate.