:UAE rival carriers Emirates, Etihad join forces for airline security

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Emirates Airline, the international carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced on Monday the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with rival airline Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi, for cooperation in aviation security.

The MoU was signed between Emirates’ security division Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group by Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, and Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group.

Emirates said in its statement that “the historic agreement, the first between the UAE’s two world-leading aviation groups, signals the importance of closer collaboration in aviation security to effectively exploit joint synergies to enhance efficiency and security for the benefit of both groups’ customers.”

One of the key areas of cooperation outlined in the MoU involves the sharing of information and intelligence between Emirates, which in November added the 100th Airbus A380 Superjumco to its fleet, and Etihad, whose name means unity in Arabic, on critical aspects of aviation security.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group said “security is one of the foremost priorities of the global aviation industry.”

Through this agreement, Emirates Group Security will collaborate with Etihad Aviation Group to share know-how and extend aviation security services in order to better handle shared challenges, he added.

Vice Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group Hamad Abdulla Al-Shamsi said “by working closely together, and pooling our expertise and resources, Etihad Aviation Group and Emirates Group Security will build a stronger platform from which to share best practice and knowledge, allowing us to provide the safest travelling environment for our customers.”

Earlier in October last year, Clark said the Dubai government-controlled airline was open to cooperate with local rival Etihad Airways, but stressed that a full merger between the two was “up to the owners,” hence the ruling families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Emirates recorded in the fiscal year 2016/2017, which ended on March 31, an 82-percent decline in its annual profit. Etihad lost in the full year 2016 1.87 billion dollars due to a stronger dollar.

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