Icelandair has tentatively agreed a strategic partnership with Middle Eastern carrier Emirates, potentially leading to a codeshare between the two.

The agreement – currently in the form of a memorandum of understanding – was reached at the ITB travel show in Berlin.

Emirates has an interline tie-up with Icelandair, but states that the two carriers are working towards expanding this into a reciprocal codeshare.

Icelandair operates as a transatlantic bridge carrier through its Reykjavik hub.

Icelandair 737 Max-c-Icelandair

Source: Icelandair

Icelandair would offer codeshared connections through European gateways

While Emirates does not serve Reykjavik, and Icelandair does not serve Dubai, the codeshare would provide a travel connection through gateway destinations in Europe.

Emirates would place its ‘EK’ designator on the “best connecting” Icelandair flights, it says, while Icelandair’s ‘FI’ code would be put on various Emirates services from European cities to Dubai and beyond.

The specific destinations covered by the potential codeshare – still subject to regulatory approval – have yet to be disclosed.

Emirates will be the seventh airline to codeshare with Icelandair.

“We have and will continue to expand our network of partner airlines, focusing on working with airlines that offer great service and connectivity,” says Icelandair Group chief Bogi Nils Bogason.

Emirates chief commercial officer Adnan Kazim says the Icelandair network “complements” the Middle Eastern carrier’s European presence.