So after years of angry bickering and huge spending on lawyers and lobbyists United Airlines and Emirates Airline have kissed and made up. So sweet.
This would not be about competing with the alliance between American and Qatar?
The deal brings a reconciliation between United and Emirates, which had defended opposing positions during a subsidy-related spat last decade.
Tim Clark for Emirates said the new deal will “terrify our competitors.”
“Putting two great brands together is… what this is all about,” United’s Kirby adds. “It’s going to open up a lot of cities in India and Africa that we just don’t have access to today.”
The deal encompasses United, Emirates and Flydubai, which shares the same ownership as Emirates, and was necessary to compete on lower capacity routes. The agreement will involve code-sharing, with the airlines selling each others’ flight as their own.
The new partnership will start in November, when customers travelling on Emirates to Chicago, San Francisco and Houston will be able to transfer to United flights to some 200 US cities, the airlines say.
The partnership will expand in March 2023 with United’s planned launch of a flight from Newark to Dubai. There, United’s customers will be able to connect to some 100 cities on Emirates and Flydubai.
The carriers will also offer connections in Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Orlando, Seattle and Washington-Dulles. They say they will offer reciprocal benefits to members of their frequent flier programmes.
As a part of this new deal Emirates has terminated a codeshare deal with JetBlue Airways.
The codeshares still require regulatory approval and the deal has been meet with concern by unions with many of the same arguments as were raised before.
It was seven years ago that the CEOs of American, Delta and United complained to senior US officials that three Gulf-region carriers – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – had received unfair government subsidies to the tune of $50 billion.
The US carriers said the subsidies let those airlines sell tickets at below-cost fares.
They asked the administration of President Barack Obama to prohibit the Gulf airlines from further US expansion, and to rescind their “fifth freedom” rights.
The Gulf carriers denied the subsidy allegations and noted US carriers received hefty aid following the terrorist attacks of 2001. (More recently, US airlines landed $58 billion in pandemic-related government aid.)
In 2016, amid the spat, United and Delta ended flights to Dubai.
Now the airlines are rushing to head down the aisle together. Delta may be feeling left out..