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Emirates and Flydubai join forces

Posted 17 July 2017 · Add Comment

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

Both airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth.

The innovative partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up Flydubai’s robust regional network.

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; currently the world’s busiest for international passengers.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of Flydubai, said: "This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, Flydubai, and Dubai aviation. Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai.”

Emirates today has a wide-body fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). Flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 unique destination points. 

The partnership is working to optimise the networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections offering consumers greater choice. Additionally, this will help both airlines feed more traffic into each other’s complementary networks. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and Flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.

The Emirates and Flydubai teams are working together on a number of initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey, and frequent flyer programmes alignment.  

The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017. Further details will be communicated as they become available.

Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: It has taken as long time for Emirates and Flydubai to deepen their relationship this way - given their synergies from Chairman downwards, both airlines are currently the biggest operators out of Dubai International and can harness immense cost savings by working together. This is in spite of Flydubai shifting some of its operations to Dubai World Central later this year.

“Given the competitive profit pressure Emirates has faced due to falling prices, lower oil costs and increased airline competition, Emirates can leverage the strength of Flydubai's network and dispense the need to buy their own narrow-bodies. 

“Vice versa, Flydubai can offer flights on Emirates' network and without buying widebodies.”

Ahmad added: “The power these two entities will have together will make life hard for Air Arabia and Etihad, as well as Qatar Airways and other fringe carriers like Flynas, Jazeera Airways and SalamAir.

“Emirates and Flydubai will be able to offer end-to-end services on routes that will allow them to price fares aggressively and capture better market share without eroding profits and gain from higher load factors

“And when Emirates also shifts to DWC, the partnership with Flydubai will catapult both airlines forward given the robust demand pull that Dubai has - this is why the current airport is the busiest in the world and that performance shows no sign of slowing down.

“All in, this move was a very long time in the making and its one that passengers across the GCC and beyond will embrace with open arms.”




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