The strategic partnership between Dubai’s two airlines, Emirates and flydubai, continues to open up the world for Ugandans since its launch 14 months ago, and is set to grow even further in 2019 with new codeshare destinations to be added.
The partnership, which came into effect at the end of October 2017, has since delivered a number of benefits to both airlines’ customers, such as offering greater global connectivity through more destination choices, flexibility with flight options when planning trips, one integrated loyalty programme, and the convenience of travelling on a single ticket with seamless point to point baggage handling.
Between January and December 2018, the two airlines have jointly carried 3.29 million customers on codeshare flights across 84 destinations, which include popular tourism and adventure destinations such as Bucharest, Kathmandu and Zanzibar, amongst many others. Through the codeshare partnership, Emirates customers can access 67 additional destinations through flydubai’s network, while flydubaicustomers have 115 additional destinations they can travel to on Emirates network.
“The partnership between Emirates and flydubai has really taken off and we are very pleased with what has been achieved. It 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 His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai.
“In addition, the partnership has also helped to further strengthen Dubai’s position as a leading global aviation hub with the increase in traffic flows resulting from the two airlines’ codeshare network, and by enabling smooth and seamless connections for customers through the city’s modern and comfortable international airport,” he added.
Expanding global connectivity
The partnership started with codeshare flights to just 29 cities, and has since expanded to 84, including new flydubaidestinations such as Catania, Krakow, Dubrovnik and Helsinki.
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. flydubai flights to Chittagong will also restart from 20 January, while flights to Kozhikode, Kerala, will start from 1 February.
Delivering better connections
Since 2 December last year, 11 flydubai flights started to operate from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport to help improve the connections between Emirates and flydubai. These are Belgrade, Bishkek, Bucharest, Catania, Helsinki, Krakow, Mineralnye Vody, Prague, Rostov-on-Don, Salalah and Zagreb. During this year, more flights, including Naples and Budapest, will be departing from Terminal 3, further improving the connection experience for customers.
This move has enabled customers booked to travel to these destinations to check-in at the Emirates Business Class and Economy Class desks in the departures area of Terminal 3. Business Class passengers are also able to use fast track on the ground and enjoy other Business Class services, whilst transiting passengers have a smooth and quick transit time.
One loyalty programme
To provide Ugandans with an easy way to accrue and redeem air miles, flydubai adopted Emirates Skywards as its programme in August last year. The alignment of the loyalty programmeallows Emirates Skywards members to earn Skywards Miles and Tier Miles and enjoy shared travel benefits when flying across the combined networks.
Since August 2018, over 125,000 Skywards members have flown and earned almost 300 million Skywards Miles on flydubai. Skywards members have also been active in using their Miles to partially or fully pay for over 10,000 flydubai tickets.
Members earn the same currency with both airlines, so they can reach rewards faster and more easily rise through the tiers of the programme. Members enjoy even more privileges as they move through the membership tiers – they earn bonus Miles, can use Business Class check-in desks when flying Economy Class, and enjoy extra baggage plus priority baggage delivery.
Currently, the combined networks of Emirates and flydubai is 216, which by 2022, is expected to reach 240 destinations, offering customers across the world far reaching global connectivity via Dubai.