Combined carriers to offer more than 200 destinations.
Emirates and Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai have just confirmed an “extensive partnership agreement” including codesharing, schedule alignment, network optimisation and frequent flyer program integration.
The move was flagged last month (TD 22 June), with the carriers now confirming they will continue to be independently managed “but will leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth”.
The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to EK’s destinations on six continents, as well as allowing Emirates passengers to easily access flydubai’s “robust regional network”. The airlines will align systems and operations at Dubai International Airport, with optimised networks and schedules allowing them to feed more traffic into each other’s complementary networks.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai, said “this is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai and Dubai aviation.
“Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai,” he said.
The first enhanced code-sharing arrangements will roll out in the last quarter of 2017, with the carriers saying by 2022 their combined networks are expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.
It’s unclear at this stage what the implications are for the Qantas-Emirates partnership, with further information expected to be forthcoming in the coming days.
More details in tomorrow’s issue of Travel Daily.