Emirates and flydubai to work more closely together

Emirates and flydubai will have a combined fleet of 380 planes by 2022

Dubai's government-controlled Emirates Airline, the worldwide carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said here on Monday it agreed with budget carrier flydubai to expand their codeshare agreement and align their frequent flyer programs.

Described as an "extensive partnership agreement", the airlines are joining forces so they can fly to a whopping 240 destinations using 380 aircraft by 2022 (so basically, their plan is to take over the world). The move means FlyDubai's regional flights will help fill Emirates jets, while the discount operator gets access to a global network of 157 destinations.

The partnership will go "beyond code-sharing and include integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling", said the carrier.

While continuing to be managed independently, the airlines will leverage each other's network to scale up operations and accelerate growth. It adds that the two sides are discussing various additional network and customer initiatives including frequent-flyer alignment.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman, flydubai said, "This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai, and Dubai aviation".

Both airlines now operate their global hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB), enabling plenty of opportunities to create synergies nearly immediately.

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Teams from Emirates and flydubai are now working on several initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey, and frequent flyer programmes alignment.

"Over the past years FlyDubai has gradually encroached on Emirates' market, both in terms of serving overlapping routes and upgrading its product by moving away from the strict low cost model", Pistik said.

Emirates says the tie-up will be implemented "over the coming months", with initial "enhanced" codesharing from the fourth quarter of this year.

"The partnership is working to optimise the networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections offering consumers greater choice", the airlines said in a joint statement.

Emirates now operates 259 aircraft to 157 destinations, while Flydubai has a fleet of 58 Boeing 737 NG aircraft flying to 95 destinations.

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