DALLAS — Emirates (EK) and United Airlines (UA) have applied to the US Department of Transportation (DoT) for approval to codeshare 300 flights.
Emirates President and CEO Sir Tim Clark and United CEO Scott Kirby (main image) stated in September that EK customers would be able to connect on UA’s network beginning in November 2022, but the codeshare will not become effective until the DoT approves it, ASAP, according to the filing.
The airlines wrote, “Because the Joint Applicants would like to begin marketing their codeshare service as soon as possible, they request that the Department expedite its approval of this application.”
They continued, “Granting this application is in the public interest because it will provide substantial consumer benefits by enhancing the service options available to the U.S. traveling public for travel between the US, UAE, and points beyond.”
Emirates intends to place its “EK” code on “(a) United and United Express flights operating from certain of United’s US hubs to points in the US and points beyond the US across North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean, and to facilitate international air travel between these points and the UAE and points beyond the UAE; and (b) on United flights operated from intermediate points to the US for the facilitation of international air travel from the UAE to the US and points beyond.”
This first phase of the codeshare covers 126 flights from Chicago, 105 from Houston, and 41 from San Francisco. UA wants access to 27 EK destinations, the majority of which are in India and the subcontinent, as well as the Gulf region and Africa.
As per the filing, the Chigaco-based carrier also wants “to provide codeshare services on flights operated by Emirates to points within and beyond UAE for points neither in Open Skies countries nor listed in United’s certificate.”
Network, Fleet, and Passenger Benefits
Emirates runs a hub-and-spoke model, in which passengers can fly to and from Dubai and connect to other major cities in the world. The airline’s core focus is on providing comfortable and enjoyable travel experiences, with superior customer service and a wide range of onboard amenities.
To this end, EK has invested heavily in its fleet (over 250 aircraft), which is comprised entirely of the latest generation of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. The airline has one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average aircraft age of just over 6 years.
Emirate’s A380 fleet, which is undergoing a two-year cabin refurbishment program, is capable of carrying up to 517 passengers per aircraft, offering the most spacious interiors and the highest levels of comfort.
This makes it ideal for long-haul flights and for serving secondary destinations, as it allows the airline to connect these destinations via its hubs in Dubai. Additionally, the A380’s large capacity also allows EK to offer competitive fares, as it can offer more seats per flight than smaller aircraft.
United currently flies to more than 300 destinations in the United States, including major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. The airline also offers international flights to nearly 200 international destinations in over 70 countries.
The agreement enables more efficient use of aircraft, allowing both airlines to optimize their fleets and reduce costs. UA operates a fleet of more than 800 aircraft, including Boeing 737 and 767 jets, Airbus A319 and A320 jets, and select widebody and regional jets.
United also operates the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, which feature the latest in cabin design and technology. Additionally, UA utilizes various regional aircraft, including the Embraer E175 and CRJ-700, to connect its customers to smaller markets.
As with most codeshare agreements, the one between EK and UA provides a number of benefits for both airlines’ customers. UA passengers gain access to EK’s extensive global network of destinations and can also earn and redeem miles for EK flights. Additionally, EK passengers can benefit from increased connectivity and access to UA’s extensive North American network.
Further, the EK-UA codeshare agreement allows for more convenient and efficient booking and ticketing options, as well as access to more competitive fares.
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Featured image: Come Fly With Us. Emirates • United Airlines. Washington Dulles International Airport, Dulles, Virginia, September 14th, 2022. Photography by J. David Buerk: www.jdavidbuerk.com www.facebook.com/DavidBuerkPhoto @DavidBuerkPhoto via Emirates