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Emirates and low-cost carrier Flydubai have agreed a new partnership designed to help both airlines to “accelerate growth” and open new routes from Dubai.
The deal includes an “expansive” codeshare agreement, alignment of schedules between the two carriers and network “optimisation” which should open up new routes.
The airlines will also “align” their systems and operations at Dubai International airport to “ensure a seamless travel experience”.
Both Emirates and Flydubai are fully owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai but will continue to be managed independently following the deal.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is both CEO 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.”
The first codeshares from the new partnership will be launched in the final three months of 2017.
Emirates currently operates 259 aircraft to 157 destinations, while Flydubai has a fleet of 58 Boeing 737 NG aircraft flying to 95 destinations. The two carriers are expected to have a combined fleet of 380 aircraft serving 240 destinations by 2022.