Emirates and flydubai: A winning partnership
Over 5.27 million passengers have benefitted from seamless connectivity on the Emirates and flydubai network since both Dubai-based airlines begun their partnership in October 2017.
In addition, some 800,000 Emirates Skywards members have earned over 1.5 billion Skywards Miles on Emirates and flydubai codeshare itineraries in the last 12 months.
Marking the milestone as the partnership enters into its third year, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, and Chairman of flydubai said: “The strategic partnership between Emirates and flydubai has been a success, generating benefits for travellers, for both airlines, and for Dubai. Moving forward, both Emirates and flydubai will continue to develop the partnership to deliver even better customer journeys and better value for travellers and all stakeholders.”
Today, Emirates passengers can seamlessly connect to 94 destinations on the flydubai network via Dubai International airport, and flydubai passengers can access 143 Emirates destinations. Globally, the favourite flydubai destinations for Emirates passengers are: Belgrade, Bucharest, Catania, Kathmandu, Kiev, Kilimanjaro, Krakow, Salalah, Tbilisi, and Zanzibar.
The strategic partnership between Emirates and flydubai goes beyond code-sharing in permitted markets, and includes initiatives that span commercial activity such as schedule co-ordination to offer customers more competitive prices, network planning and airport operations to facilitate the smooth flow of passengers between both airlines, and the alignment of frequent flyer programmes to boost earning and redemption opportunities.
On 27 October 2019, flights to seven more destinations have relocated from flydubai’s current operating base of Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 at Dubai International airport (DXB), offering travellers more seamless connections between the Emirates and flydubai networks with smooth and quick transit times. This move means connecting passengers can enjoy shorter minimum connecting times in Dubai at just 90 minutes.
Flights from Dubai to Almaty, Basra, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nur-Sultan, Sofia, and Zanzibar now operate from Terminal 3, bringing the number of flydubai destinations operated out of DXB Terminal 3 to 22.
Emirates Skywards became the common loyalty programme for both Emirates and flydubai customers in August 2018 – offering members greater convenience and simplicity with one loyalty currency, and a single metric for earning and redeeming Miles.
Flight benefits remain the most popular redemption option, with members spending some 500 million Miles on flydubai flights in the past year, with top destinations being: Dubai, Beirut, Karachi, Alexandria, Tbilisi, Sabiha Gokcen, Bucharest, and Baku.
The combined base of over 25 million Skywards members is also more active than before as the loyalty programme continues to enhance its partner portfolio and increase opportunities for members to earn and redeem Miles, and more quickly attain their next tier status and enjoy benefits such as lounge access and fast track lanes for immigration and check in.
The partnership has enabled both airlines to optimise their network and aircraft utilisation, with successes in ensuring customers are served year-round on routes with “seasonal” patterns, and while opening up opportunities for both carriers to serve new markets.
An example is the seasonal handover on the Dubai-Zagreb route where Emirates operates its large wide-body aircraft during the summer schedule, while flydubai’s single-aisle aircraft is deployed during the winter schedule. On 10 December, the Dubai-Yangon route will be operated by flydubai instead of Emirates, enabling the latter to concentrate on developing the Thailand and Cambodia markets.
Successful network optimisation between both airlines on flights to Multan, Mashad, Bangkok, Dhaka and Male had also freed up capacity for flydubai to re-deploy to open new markets including Krakow, Catania, Helsinki, Naples, Sochi and Krabi.
Emirates and flydubai continue to work closely on flight schedule alignment, with the aim of improving customer connectivity and expanding the number of flight connection options between both airlines.