Emirates and flydubai join forces

Emirates and low cost sibling carrier flydubai have unveiled an "extensive partnership" which will see the two Dubai-based airlines join forces.
Both airlines, fully owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), will "continue to be managed independently," a joint statement said, but added that they will "leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth".
The partnership "goes beyond code-sharing" and includes "integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling".
The statement added: "The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up flydubai’s robust regional network."
A spokesperson said: "The Emirates and flydubai teams are working through a number of initiatives, including cargo. The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months and further details will be communicated as they become available."
In May this year, Emirates’ cargo division signed a memorandum of understanding with Luxembourg-based Cargolux for a strategic operational partnership.
Emirates will use Cargolux’s Boeing 747F capacity, complementing its own fleet of 777Fs, while giving it continued access to planes with noseloading capacity or the ability to carry heavylift cargo.
Emirates and flydubai will further develop their hub at Dubai International, "aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport", currently the world’s busiest for international passengers. 
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and chairman of flydubai, said: "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.”
Emirates has a widebody fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 unique destination points.  
The partnership is "working to optimise the networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections offering consumers greater choice". 
Additionally, this will help both airlines feed more traffic into each other’s complementary networks. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft. 
The joint statement continued: "The Emirates and flydubai teams are working together on a number of initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey, and frequent flyer programmes alignment. 
"The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017."
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