Two Middle East-based airlines are pooling their resources amid a tough economic environment.
In a statement posted on its website, Emirates and flydubai have announced that they will work together to provide their customers better service. The agreement means that both carriers will share codes, integrate networks or routes, coordinate schedules, and even issue tickets for each other’s flights. According to CNN Money, this also means that passengers may end up flying on the low cost flydubai even if they purchase flights from Emirates.
The partnership will give both airlines access to each other’s destinations, which will amount to 216.
In spite of the collaboration, which will take effect in the next few months, the two companies will remain independently managed.
Emirates flies 259 aircraft to 157 destinations, while flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737s to 95 destinations. The companies will work together to align on a number of operational matters, such as network planning and enhancing frequent flyer programs.
Says Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and chairman of flydubai, “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.”
Profit margins have weakened for the two airlines, both of which use the Dubai International Airport as its base. CNN has reported that Emirates’ 2016 earnings dipped by 82%, which was caused by lower customer demand, American travel policies, fear due to terror attacks, and the oil industry’s tepid performance.
On the other hand, flydubai’s earnings dropped by 69% in 2016.