Emirates, flydubai unveil extensive partnership plan

Emirates, flydubai unveil extensive partnership plan

Emirates, flydubai unveil extensive partnership plan

Emirates suffered a 70 percent drop in profit in the year ended March 31 as the low price of crude clipped growth in oil-based Persian Gulf economies, terrorist attacks hurt demand for travel and the company faced US -imposed travel restrictions.

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.

Both Emirates and flydubai are owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

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Meanwhile, flydubai's profits dropped 68 percent in 2016 after a tough year - but its revenues rose 2.4 percent, it reported in February.

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 low-priced carrier's CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said at the time he expected 2017 to be another "challenging year" and said the airline would remain "prudent".

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The deal includes an "expansive" codeshare agreement, alignment of schedules between the two carriers and network "optimisation" which should open up new routes. The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates' worldwide destinations spanning six continents.

The partnership will also mean greater integration between the airlines' existing hubs at Dubai International, where Emirates now operates from its own dedicated Terminal 3, and flydubai mainly operates from Terminal 2. The current combined network comprises 216 destination points. It will be rolled out from the fourth quarter starting with enhanced code-sharing arrangements.

"This partnership isn't about savings, it's about extracting commercial value by leveraging the strengths of both companies to accelerate growth", representatives from the airlines said. Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, flies to 157 destinations with 259 planes, while low-priced airline Flydubai reaches 95 destinations with 58 planes.

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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.

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