Emirates, Flydubai confirm partnership

Without merging, wide-scale agreement includes codeshares, fleet combinations, and network synergies

Emirates and Flydubai have denied they will merge but have confirmed plans for a wide scale agreement between both of Dubai's biggest carriers that will include codeshares, network alignments and fleet combinations.

The plan is expected to strengthen dramatically Dubai's aviation clout with both airlines looking to serve 240 destinations with 380 aircraft within the next three years.

Both state owned carriers are the largest airlines operating out of Dubai, despite Flydubai shifting some of its operations to Dubai World Central. Both airlines share the same chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, who had hinted earlier in the year that both airlines would be looking at exploiting synergies. At the Paris Airshow last month, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark had also told reporters that both airlines would be "coming together under one umbrella."

The news comes off a year in which both Emirates and Flydubai faced the largest drops in profits of any airlines that announced their results in the region. Emirates' profits dropped 82% in its latest results, the largest since 2012. Flydubai has lost 88% of its profit in two years.

Emirates flies 259 wide-body A380s and Boeing 777s to 157 destinations. Flydubai flies 58 Boeing 737 to 95 destinations.

Codeshare agreements between the two will begin in the last quarter of 2017.

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