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Emirates and Flydubai Combine Network Operations

Emirates and Flydubai Combine Network Operations

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, owned by Dubai's sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), will continue to be managed independently, but they will leverage each other's network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth, added Emirates.

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

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

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".

Both airlines now operate their global hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB), enabling plenty of opportunities to create synergies nearly immediately.

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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.

Meanwhile flydubai, which operates 58 Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations, has focused mainly on regional destinations throughout the Middle East, India, Southern Europe and Eastern Africa.

"Over the past years FlyDubai has gradually encroached on Emirates' market, both in terms of serving overlapping routes and upgrading its product by moving away from the strict low cost model", Pistik said.

The airlines said the partnership would be rolled out over the coming months, with more details to be confirmed soon. The current combined network travels to 216 destinations.

Work on combining a number of areas such as network planning and frequent-flyer programmes is already underway and the group said it expects the first new code sharing agreements to be in place in the final quarter of this year.

"Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years and this new partnership will unlock the enormous value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline and to Dubai".

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