Dubai’s flag carrier Emirates and its low-cost sister airline flydubai will share a customer loyalty programme from this summer, the next stage in their expanded codeshare announced in July last year.
From August 1, Emirates Skywards will be the loyalty programme for both airlines, while flydubai’s existing "Open" loyalty scheme will cease to exist.
"Open" members will be enrolled into Emirates Skywards membership and continue being rewarded when travelling with either Emirates or flydubai, the airlines said on Sunday.
Members will also be able to earn both Skywards Miles and Tier Miles every time they fly with Emirates, “enhancing collection and spending opportunities”, flydubai said.
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"Emirates can confirm that Emirates Skywards will become the loyalty programme for both Emirates airline and flydubai from 1 August, 2018," an Emirates spokeswoman The National.
“We are pleased to be welcoming a new member base to our programme and will share more details on the loyalty programme in due course.”
The two airlines announced an expanded partnership agreement last July, intended to help them cut costs and build market share. As part of the arrangement, they are creating a shared network of codeshare routes to 240 destinations by 2022, and have so far launched 90 shared destinations in 48 countries, 71 of which were not served by the airlines previously.
The expanded codeshare agreement will also involve increased shared network planning, fleet and airport operations and on-the-ground co-operation between the two airlines.
The move to combine the two loyalty programmes "builds on the success of the initial phase of the extensive partnership", flydubai said. In July, before the decision takes effect, Open Gold members and Emirates Skywards Silver members and above (who are also Open members) can convert their Open reward points to Skywards Miles, with two Open reward points equalling one Skywards Mile.
Open reward points held in existing accounts can be redeemed until July 31 for future flights with flydubai, the carrier said.