UAE’s Emirates, budget carrier flydubai expand cooperation

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Dubai’s government-controlled Emirates Airline, the international 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.

The upgraded cooperation would lead to “scheduled alignment and network optimization” to serve their passengers, Emirates said in e-mailed statement.

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.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai, said “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.”

The partnership will go “beyond code-sharing and include integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling,” said the carrier.

The two airlines will also further develop their hub at Dubai International Airport, known as DXB, aligning their systems and operations “to ensure a seamless travel experience through the airport.”

In the fiscal year 2016/2017 which ended on March 31, Emirate posted an annual profit of 340 million U.S. dollars, down 82.38 percent from 1.93 billion dollars last year “due to stronger dollar,” said the carrier.

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

In 2017, DXB hosted 83.6 million passengers and is currently the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passengers.

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