By Sam Bridge
As partnership enters its third year, Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed says there is more still to come
Over 5.27 million passengers have benefited from connectivity on the Emirates and Flydubai network since both Dubai-based airlines began their partnership in October 2017, it has been revealed.
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, a statement said.
Marking the milestone as the partnership enters into its third year, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group, and chairman of flydubai said: "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 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 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 Sunday, flights to seven more destinations relocated from Flydubai's current operating base of Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 at Dubai International airport (DXB), offering travellers more connections between the Emirates and Flydubai networks.
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.
The airlines said the partnership has enabled both 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.
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 said they 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.