Emirates and flydubai are to join forces as they seek to gain benefits from each others global and regional strengths – which is set to boost cargo efficiencies for both.
The two Dubai-based airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth.
The innovative partnership goes beyond codesharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers 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 Airport, aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport; currently the world’s busiest for international passengers.
Emirates Group chairman and chief executive and flydubai chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum says: “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 has a widebody 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 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. Further details will be communicated as they become available.
Fully owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), both Emirates and flydubai are operated independently and under separate management teams.