Saturday, 1 November 2014

TAAG angling for investment

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Sir Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, Dubai's flag-carrier, has often spoken critically about the kind of equity investments and deep-rooted partnerships that Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways favours. Whereas Etihad holds stakes in eight overseas airlines, Emirates largely stands alone in the global marketplace. It can afford to do so: in just three decades, Emirates has become the largest carrier in the world by passenger capacity. Alliance membership, codeshare agreements and equity deals simply don't have the same charm for Sir Tim as for other, less exalted airline bosses.

His scepticism has also been shaped by personal experience. In 1998, Emirates acquired 43.6% of SriLankan Airlines under a ten-year management contract. The partnership delivered few strategic benefits, instead becoming a huge drain on resources...