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Published: Wed, July 19, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Emirates, flydubai To Extend Partnership

Emirates, flydubai To Extend Partnership

Emirates and flydubai on Monday unveiled a partnership which will see the two Dubai-based airlines join forces to offer customers more travel options. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft. "Obviously they believe a more consolidated, or rather a more working together approach, would deliver more value to the shareholder, than the two working separately or in some cases competing against each other, which makes little sense".

Both are owned by the government's Investment Corporation of Dubai and are chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is also the chief executive of Emirates.

While both airlines have shied away from calling it a merger, they are saying that the agreement is "extensive" and will go beyond typical code-sharing standards and include integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling.

FlyDubai also saw its profit drop 69% in 2016 and cited a "challenging socioeconomic environment". Flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations.

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.

While it is too early in the day to say conclusively that the partnership between Emirates and flydubai will translate into cheaper airfares, it is intuitive to believe that the resulting synergy will translate into cost-savings and better profits for both the airlines. 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. Emirates flies wide-body Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s to 157, mostly long-haul, destinations. flydubai has a fleet of short/medium-haul Boeing 737s plying regional routes.

Work on combining a number of areas such as network planning and frequent-flyer programmes is already under way and the group said it expects the first new code sharing agreements to be in place in the final 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 statement notes. Further details will be communicated as they become available.

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