Dubai-based airlines Emirates and flydubai expect to further optimize their network and aircraft utilization, ensuring year-round routes with “seasonal” patterns, while opening up opportunities for both carriers to serve new markets.

The strategic partnership started in October 2017; since then, 5.3 million passengers have used seamless connectivity on the two carriers’ networks.

Emirates’ passengers can connect to 94 destinations on the flydubai network via Dubai International Airport (DXB); flydubai passengers can access 143 Emirates destinations.

From Dec. 10, the Dubai-Yangon (Myanmar) route will be operated by flydubai instead of Emirates, enabling the latter to concentrate on developing Thailand and Cambodia markets.

Network optimization between both carriers on flights to Multan (Pakistan); Mashhad (Iran); Bangkok (Thailand); Dhaka (Bangladesh); and Malé (Maldives) have also freed up capacity for flydubai to open new markets, including Krakow (Poland); Naples and Catania (Italy); Helsinki (Finland); Sochi (Russia); and Krabi (Thailand).

Since Dec. 2, 2018, a selection of flydubai flights began operating from Dubai’s Terminal 3 to simplify connections between the two airlines.

From Oct. 27, flights to seven more destinations have relocated from flydubai’s current operating base of DXB’s Terminal 2 to Terminal 3, including services to Almaty, Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan); Basra (Iraq); Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); and Sofia (Bulgaria). Twenty-two flydubai services currently operate from Terminal 3. Connecting passengers have a minimum connecting time at DXB of around 90 min.

The strategic partnership between Emirates and flydubai goes beyond codesharing in permitted markets and includes initiatives that span commercial activity such as schedule coordination, more competitive prices, network planning, and airport operations to facilitate the smooth flow of passengers between both airlines. In addition, aligning frequent flyer programs has boosted earning and redemption opportunities.

Kurt Hofmann,