Who were once one of the fiercest rivals in the aviation industry are now having a codeshare partnership. This is the story of Emirates and United.
*** And curtain*** 😉.
Jokes aside, this new partnership will enhance each airline’s network and give their passengers easier access to hundreds of new destinations within the United States and around the world.
Emirates and United announced a new partnership which will see United launch a new route to Dubai, among many other things. The agreement was announced at a ceremonial event at Dulles International Airport, hosted by United CEO Scott Kirby and Emirates President Sir Tim Clark, featuring United and Emirates Boeing B777-300ER aircraft and flight crews from each carrier.
United will launch a new route between Newark Liberty International Airport and Dubai’s International Airport in March 2023 (details of this route are covered in this post).
From November 2022, Emirates passengers flying into Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston – three of the biggest business hubs in the United States – will be able to easily connect onto United flights to and from nearly 200 cities across the Americas on a single ticket. At the eight other U.S. airports served by Emirates – Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York – JFK, Orlando, Seattle and Washington DC – both airlines will have an interline arrangement in place.
United passengers will be able to travel on Emirates or its sister airline flydubai to more than 100 cities via Dubai, once the airline launches a new flight to Dubai in March 2023.
Two of the biggest, and best-known airlines in the world are joining hands to fly people better to more places, at a time when travel demand is rebounding with a vengeance. It’s a significant partnership that will unlock tremendous consumer benefit and bring the United Arab Emirates and the United States even closer. We welcome United’s return to Dubai next year, where our hub Dubai essentially becomes a gateway for United to reach Asia, Africa and the Middle East via the combined network of Emirates and flydubai. We look forward to developing our partnership with United for the long term.said Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates.
This agreement unites two iconic, flag carrier airlines who share a common commitment to creating the best customer experience in the skies. United’s new flight to Dubai and our complementary networks will make global travel easier for millions of our customers, helping boost local economies and strengthen cultural ties. This is a proud moment for both United and Emirates employees, and I look forward to our journey together.said Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines.
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Passengers on both airlines will soon be able to book connecting flights on a single ticket – making check-in and luggage transfer faster and easier.
This agreement will also give the loyalty program members of both airlines more opportunities for more rewards: Emirates Skywards members can soon earn miles when they travel on United operated flights, and United Mileage Plus members flying on United’s New York/Newark to Dubai flight will be able to earn and redeem miles when connecting beyond on Emirates and flydubai.
Additionally, eligible passengers travelling on codeshare flights will also soon enjoy access to Emirates and United lounges. The airlines say that “more details on frequent flyer awards and lounge sharing benefits will be communicated in the coming weeks”.
In 2015, the big three U.S. carriers – United, Delta and American – accused the three Middle Eastern carriers – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – saying that the latter were heavily subsidised by their respective governments. There was a fierce competition between both of them.
Up until 2016, United used to operate a flight between Washington Dulles and Dubai. The competition and tensions between the airlines grew so much that United stopped serving Dubai in 2016.
Since then, relations between the airlines have improved many fold. American Airlines and Qatar Airways, both of which are a part of oneworld alliance, now have a codeshare partnership. American operates a flight to Doha, Qatar, from where its passengers can connect onto Qatar Airways’ network. Similarly, Qatar Airways passengers can connect onto American Airlines’ network via New York JFK.
In addition to the above advantages that the passengers will have, United, as an airline, will have one more advantage with this codeshare partnership with Emirates. Due to the closure of Russian airspace, the nonstop connectivity between U.S. and India has taken a hit with United suspending San-Francisco-Delhi and Newark-Mumbai routes. As Emirates is the largest foreign airline serving India, United will have a much more chance (than before) to offer easy connections to India and grow its own traffic between United States and India.
The partnership between Emirates and United is very similar to that of American’s and Qatar’s partnership. Now, that leaves Delta and Etihad. If they ever form a partnership, the three pairs (Emirates-United, Qatar-American and Etihad-Delta) will be completed. 😉
All in all, let’s hope that this is just the start of a very fruitful partnership for both the airlines and it continues to grow over time.
Featured image by Emirates and United
What do you think of Emirates and United forming a codeshare partnership? Let me know in the comments section below.