Closer linkages are in prospect between Dubai-based Emirates Airline and local low-cost carrier (LCC) flydubai.

“There’s no competition between us, but I think we’ve just done our own thing and I’ve thought it could have been done better if it was a little more coordinated,” Emirates president Tim Clark said in Paris June 21.

“It makes a lot more sense to work together. Flydubai has moved from its original low-cost model. It now has lounges and lie-flat beds in business class; they’ve moved more towards a full-service model. Because they’ve moved closer to us, it becomes far easier to move high-yielding passengers across, certainly between premium classes.”

The two carriers’ route maps are complementary, with Emirates’ fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A380s focusing on long-haul sectors (although the A380 is deployed on trunk routes as short as a hour in duration within the Gulf) while flydubai has a dense network within the Gulf and just beyond.

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