Emirates and flydubai join forces
The partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up flydubai’s robust regional network.
The two airlines will also further develop their hub at Dubai International, aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport; currently the world’s busiest for international passengers.
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.”
Emirates today has a wide-body fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 unique destination points.
The partnership is working to optimise the networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections offering consumers greater choice. Additionally, this will help both airlines feed more traffic into each other’s complementary networks. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.
The Emirates and flydubai teams are working together on a number of initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey, and frequent flyer programmes alignment.
The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017.
Fully owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), both Emirates and flydubai are operated independently and under separate management teams.
Experts agree that the new partnership will strengthen the emirate’s position within the global aviation industry as the airlines gain market share. The power these two entities will have together will make life hard for Air Arabia and Etihad, as well as Qatar Airways and other fringe carriers like flynas, Jazeera Airways and SalamAir.