UAE's Emirates, budget carrier flydubai expand cooperation

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

Emirates and flydubai today unveiled an extensive partnership which will see the two Dubai-based airlines join forces to offer customers unmatched travel options.

The upgraded cooperation would lead to "scheduled alignment and network optimization" to serve their passengers, Emirates said in e-mailed statement.

"This new partnership will unlock the vast value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai", says Emirates Group chief Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum - who is also the chairman of Flydubai.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, July 17, the carriers said their partnership would extend beyond code-sharing and include integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling.

The new agreement comes as Emirates' profits fell by more than 80 per cent to Dollars 340 million in the last fiscal year due in part to a slump in demand and United States travel restrictions. Flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations.

Currently, the two carriers cover 216 destinations, with a combined fleet of 317 aircraft.

In 2017, DXB hosted 83.6 million passengers and is now the world's busiest airport in terms of global passengers. "Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the enormous value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai". The two carriers are expected to have a combined fleet of 380 aircraft serving 240 destinations by 2022.

The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017, the airlines said.

Calling the partnership as a "synergistic move" that will enable flydubai and Emirates to complement each other, Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer,, felt that this should help expand their overall reach in India with each airline focussing on its core objectives. The two carriers are owned by the state-owned holding company- Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and are operated independently under separate management teams.

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