Emirates and flydubai will expand their codeshare partnership this year with more destinations as the Dubai airlines seek to improve efficiencies, boost the number of customers and increase profitability.
The two airlines, which started their partnership in October 2017 with 29 codeshare flights, have jointly flown 3.29 million travellers across 84 destinations in 2018, Emirates said on Wednesday.
“During 2019, the network of codeshare flights will be further expanded, with the launch of new flydubai destinations Naples and Budapest, as well as several others that will be announced in due course,” said a statement.
Emirates, the biggest long-haul airline, and its low-cost peer flydubai are hoping to launch codeshare routes to 240 destinations by 2022, supported by more integrated flight schedules, shared fleet usage and aligned frequent flyer programmes.
Emirates and flydubai want to boost the number of customers they serve and cut costs after their profitability in the first half of 2018 was hurt by higher fuel bills from the increase in oil prices during that period.
As part of the partnership, flydubai in December last year started operating 11 flights from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport to improve connections between the two airlines. More flights will be moved to the terminal this year, Emirates said.
The partnership “has not only delivered tangible benefits to our collective customers, but also to both airlines in terms of the synergies that come with working closely together, for example, reducing route overlaps and the realignment of schedules to common destinations,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and chairman of flydubai.
Emirates' first-half net profit fell 86 per cent to Dh226 million, as rebounding oil prices and a stronger dollar put pressure on its margins.
Flydubai widened its first half loss to Dh316.8m compared with the same period last year, as rising oil prices increased fuel costs. Flydubai reported a price setback of Dh175m in the first half of this year due to a 35 per cent increase in the average Brent crude price compared to the same period last year.