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It’s advantage India as Emirates and flydubai join forces

Ashwini Phadnis New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018

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Emirates and flydubai on Monday unveiled a partnership which will see the two Dubai-based airlines join forces to offer customers more travel options. This will allow Indians to fly to more destinations globally.

Emirates is the largest foreign airline operating into India with 174 weekly flights to nine cities while flydubai operates 29 weekly services from eight cities. The two carriers offer Indian passengers a choice of 203 weekly flights.

Scaling up operations

The latest announcement by the airlines will, for instance, allow a passenger in Lucknow to board a flydubai flight till Dubai and then fly on Emirates to Seattle. Or a passenger from Hyderabad can take flydubai to Dubai and then fly Emirates to mainland Europe, America, Africa or South America. Earlier, with the two airlines not “talking to one another”, selling such tickets was not possible.

In a statement, the airlines said that both will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s networks to scale up their operations and accelerate growth.

Terming the tie-up as being on expected lines, Kapil Kaul, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, South Asia, said that the strategic and more intense cooperation is “good for customers as extensive networks of both (the airlines) can now be fully leveraged.” Kaul predicts that as demand continues to remain muted, new alignments are likely in West Asia.

Synergistic move

Calling the partnership as a “synergistic move” that will enable flydubai and Emirates to complement each other, Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, Yatra.com, felt that this should help expand their overall reach in India with each airline focussing on its core objectives. “flydubai will be looking at expanding and creating increased travel and tourism into Dubai from smaller Indian cities that could also feed into Emirates’ huge global network,” he added.

Network optimisation

The airlines’ statement adds that the partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017. “The partnership is working to optimise the networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections offering consumers greater choice,” the statement says, adding that by 2022, the combined network is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.

Published on July 17, 2017

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