The United Arab Emirates has two flag carrier airlines, Etihad Airways and Emirates. There are 195 countries in the world, and 147 of them have one single flag carrier airline. United Arab Emirates is the only one with two. Is it just a chance occurrence?

flag carrier airways

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    $\begingroup$ If you include "hong kong" and "macau" as part of china then they have three entries in that list. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2018 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


Because the United Arab Emirates is, as the name suggests, a federation of seven loosely-affiliated emirates (the largest and most populous of which are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in that order), each with its own royal family. Emirates is based in Dubai; the Emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa (who also happens, by longstanding convention, to be the president of the UAE), wanted his emirate to have its own flag carrier, and so Etihad came into being (founded by Sheikh Khalifa's personal pilot, no less).


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