Emirates said to eye tie-up with American Airlines
Emirates Airline is reportedly in talks with troubled American Airlines parent AMR over a new partnership deal.
According to Flight Global, the two airlines have been in discussions since late 2011 and the deal could involve codesharing on flights and reciprocal frequent flier benefits.
The two carriers have been in discussions since late last year, says Emirates president and chief executive Tim Clark at Washington Dulles airport today.
"It hasn't been consummated but we hope it will be done fairly soon," Emirates president Tim Clark was quoted as saying.
He added that he acknowledged that AMR has more pressing issues to attend to after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2011.
American Airlines currently codeshares with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, Flight Global added.
Emirates launched its inaugural service from between Dubai and Washington on Wednesday, adding its seventh destination in the USA.
Washington is the third new US destination for Emirates this year after Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle.
Clark added: “As one of the most important global cities in the world, we look forward to connecting DC-area travellers with the largest number of one-stop flights to Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.”
Forging a partnership with AMR will help Emirates raise its presence in the USA by "a few notches", said Clark.
The Dubai carrier also has existing partnerships with Alaska Airlines and JetBlue.
Emirates recently announced a 10-year agreement with American's Oneworld partner Qantas Airways that will involve Qantas moving its Asian hub from Singapore to Dubai.