Emirates and flydubai Go Beyond Codeshare

18 July, 2017, 04:41 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • UAE's Emirates, budget carrier flydubai expand cooperation

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.

This will also help the carriers to feed more traffic into each other's complementary networks.

Though the two airlines are seeking closer cooperation and will leverage each other's network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth, they will continue to be managed independently.

"This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai, and Dubai aviation", said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and the chairman of flydubai.

Emirates in particular has been hit by currency fluctuations, geopolitical uncertainty and United States travel restrictions leading it to post an 82 percent drop in profit in May, its first decline in five years.

Emirates cited fierce competition and a "relentless rise" in the USA dollar as the main factor in falling revenues.

FlyDubai also saw its profit drop 69% in 2016 and cited a "challenging socioeconomic environment".

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".

"The innovative partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling".

The flydubai low-priced model, which relies on single-aisle planes, allows penetration and connectivity of markets that complement the wide grid of Emirates.

An extensive codesharing deal between Emirates and Flydubai always made sense given that the former has no short-haul network, the latter doesn't fly long-haul and the government of Dubai owns both. Both airlines now operate their global hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB), enabling plenty of opportunities to create synergies nearly immediately.

An Emirates spokesperson declined to comment on whether plans would be hatched to construct an internal link between flydubai's hub Terminal 2 and Emirates' Terminal 3.

Emirates operates 259 aircraft to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points) and flydubai has a fleet of 58 Boeing 737-800s, serving 95 destinations.

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