By Sarah Townsend
Airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed stops short of suggesting merger between the two airlines
Emirates is eyeing increased collaboration with low-cost carrier flydubai, as it continues to streamline costs in a turbulent aviation market.
Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in particular the Dubai-based airline could seek greater "synergies" in terms of aircraft fleet and routes with its sister airline flydubai.
Asked whether Emirates was considering purchasing any narrow body aircraft - particularly as competition in the budget long-haul market rises - Sheikh Ahmed said: "If we look at it from the [point of view of the] Dubai ownership of the two airlines, I have Emirates and I have flydubai.
"And between the two I have B777s, B737s and A380s. So I think we can do something there."
He would not be drawn on the specifics of his proposal, but he conceded that the two airlines are increasingly competing with each other on routes, so greater collaboration would make sense.
He said: "Sometimes competition is healthy but sometimes we have to work on better synergies. But I cannot spell anything out."
Emirates and flydubai already have an interline agreement in place, which allows the carriers to connect between their respective flights, but as most of Emirates' planes are larger, wide body aircraft, its activity on many Middle Eastern and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - Russia and Eastern Europe - routes is limited.
He declined to comment on the likelihood of an entire acquisition of flydubai by Emirates, saying only: "I don't know."
I fly use Flydubai to Kuwait often and the reason why is that I purposely by-pass their horrible main terminal. It is a shame that the terminal is not used appropriately. It would be advantageous to increase the footfall in that terminal to increase the usage of the facilities like the business class lounge and the restaurants, so what I would propose that some of Emirates flights could be moved to that terminal if there was this closer merger. But you say, the private planes? Move them! Restructure the terminal runway.
I am with you John on this.
I fly with FlyDubai for business almost weekly. I love how they are on time (at least the morning flights), in and out of the terminal is easy and connectivity is great with so many flights to GCC countries.
However, I hate how the lounge at T2 is always full, toilets are filthy and even the seating area is not clean.
They need to renovate T2 badly.