Emirates Airline boss has confirmed the Middle Eastern airline is examining a commercial arrangement with Qantas as it looks to grow its business in Australia.
Tim Clark, president of Emirates told Bloomberg news the company is looking to strengthen its ties with Qantas in a bid to benefit from Australian aviation market while stopping short of an equity stake in the Sydney-based airline.
“The Australian market has been one that is hugely successful for Emirates,” Clark commented, “We want to grow our business there and it makes a lot of sense to come to a commercial arrangement with the major player in Australia.”
The news comes as Qantas has appointed Macquarie Group and set up an internal team to advise on potential takeover bids from other parties.
Qantas has also been in talks with Citigroup to moniter on its share register.
Since Qantas’s share price has declined, the airline is being targeted by private equity and other parties for a takeover.
While its domestic operations have enjoyed continued success, its international division has seen losses widen.
In an attempt to streamline its operations, the troubled carrier announced last month plans to split its international and domestic operations into separate divisions.
A spokesperson for Qantas said the airline feared any full takeover would have a negative impact on its different businesses, as it tries to negotiate in a difficult operating environment.
Emirates currently flies to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as onwards from Australia to New Zealand.