Qatar Airways has disclosed that it had, at one point, been contemplating a tie-up with Emirates to create a Middle Eastern powerhouse carrier.
The Doha-based airline's chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, gave the insight into the carrier's thought processes during an alliances discussion at the Arab Air Carriers Organization annual meeting in Algiers.
Al Baker says Qatar had been considering "joining hands" with Emirates to make Dubai-Doha "one of the major, major hubs in the world".
He adds that the two operators saw a number of potential synergies within their networks and operations.
Insisting that Qatar and Emirates could have fed one another's networks "in a big way", Al Baker says Qatar reasoned that they "could get together and give hell to everybody else".
Emirates has remained unallied throughout its history, while Qatar Airways last month opted to join the Oneworld alliance.