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Emirates, flydubai unveil extensive partnership plan

17 Juillet 2017

Dubai government-owned carriers Emirates and flydubai have announced "an extensive partnership agreement" in an effort to improve returns.

"The biggest benefit the two airlines can achieve will be to develop network complementarily, reducing some current duplication and providing new customer itineraries", independent aviation consultant John Strickland told Reuters.

They are expected to reach 240 destinations and 380 aircraft by 2022, according to the announcement.

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

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

"The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates' worldwide destinations spanning six continents".

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The two airlines will also further develop their hub at Dubai International, aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport; now the world's busiest for international passengers.

Flydubai passengers will have "seamless connectivity" to the Emirates long-haul network, while Emirates says it will benefit from the low-priced operator's regional service.

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.

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

"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.

The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017. It adds that the two sides are discussing various additional network and customer initiatives including frequent-flyer alignment.

Emirates, flydubai unveil extensive partnership plan