Dubai-based airlines Emirates and flydubai announced the addition of 16 more destinations as a part of their codeshare agreement extension. As per the agreement, Emirates passengers will be able to travel on a single ticket to the added destinations.
The new destinations include Kathmandu (Nepal), Mattala Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Podgorica (Montenegro), Brastislava (Slovakia), Chittagong and Sylhet (Bangladesh), Djibouti, Dushanbe, Hargeisa (Somalia), Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen, Kilimanjaro, Mattala Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Ufa, Makhachkala and Voronezh (Russia), Yerevan (Armenia) and Zanzibar.
Emirates previously announced that it would expand network to 29 flydubai destinations across three continents. The two airlines expect the combined network to cover 240 destinations by 2022.
The two carriers said in a statement that they would operate an “expansive codeshare agreement with increased schedule alignment, fleet and network sharing to more than 200 destinations”.
Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, said both the Dubai carriers are realising the benefits of working more closely together – through network cooperation, synergies and better operations while they command the lion’s share of the slots at Dubai International.
Both airlines are expected to gain from this tie-up as they will leverage each other’s strengths, make the situation complex for rivals and can generate better revenues.
Emirates gets to put passengers on thinner, less dense routes via flydubai’s 737 and 737MAX, while flydubai can offer cost-conscious travellers the option to connect onto Emirates’ massive global network aboard their 777s and A380s. It’s a win-win all round and even if they merge, the benefits will only improve.
President of Emirates Sir Tim Clark said almost 14,000 sectors have been covered during the first week of operation which has surpassed the expectations. Mostly, strong demand for travel has been witnessed from Europe and the US to South Asian destinations.
Emirates and flydubai will continue to offer a travel experience reflective of each other’s brand. For bookings under the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in both Business and Economy.
Under the new partnership, passengers will also benefit from a reduced minimum connection time of 120 minutes between Emirates’ home in Terminal 3 and Flydubai’s in Terminal 2, the airlines said.