United Airlines and Emirates Airline will partner on flights between the USA and the Middle East beginning next year.
The two airlines announced the commercial agreement on 14 September in Washington DC.
United will begin to offer non-stop flights from its East Coast hub at New York-area Newark Liberty International airport to Dubai from March 2023. United customers will be able to connect through Dubai to more than 100 destinations, while Emirates customers will be able to reach almost 200 cities in the USA as part of the deal, the airlines say.
There are currently no flights connecting those two cities although Emirates currently operates two daily flights between nearby John F Kennedy International airport and Dubai, according to Cirium schedules data.
“This agreement unites two iconic, flag carrier airlines who share a common commitment to creating the best customer experience in the skies,” says United’s chief executive Scott Kirby. “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.”
”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,” adds Emirates President Tim Clark. “It’s a significant partnership that will unlock tremendous consumer benefit and bring the United Arab Emirates and the United States even closer.”
The agreement, which includes Emirates’ sister airline FlyDubai, is the second between a North American carrier and the Dubai-headquartered carrier.
In July, Air Canada said it was seeking a codeshare agreement with Emirates, under which the Montreal-based airline intends to sell tickets on “key” Emirates flights. The deal would give Air Canada’s customers “options” when travelling to Dubai, and beyond from Dubai, Air Canada said. Under the agreement, “select Air Canada flights” would also carry Emirates’ code.
Air Canada did not specify how many or which routes the deal would encompass, and the agreement still requires regulatory approval.
The two North American partnerships stand to expand Emirates’ reach after a fall-out between it and major US airlines during the last decade.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United had alleged that Emirates and two other Gulf carriers – Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – received unfair government subsidies. That dispute ruptured ties between the two sides, though diplomats settled the rift in 2018.
In June, American and Qatar Airways said they were expanding their strategic alliance with a new codeshare agreement.