Emirates Skywards became the common loyalty programme for both Emirates and flydubai customers in August 2018 – offering members greater convenience and simplicity with one loyalty currency, and a single metric for earning and redeeming Miles.
Flight benefits remain the most popular redemption option, with members spending some 500 million Miles on flydubai flights in the past year, with top destinations being: Dubai, Beirut, Karachi, Alexandria, Tbilisi, Sabiha Gokcen, Bucharest, and Baku.
The combined base of over 25 million Skywards members is also more active than before as the loyalty programme continues to enhance its partner portfolio and increase opportunities for members to earn and redeem Miles, and more quickly attain their next tier status and enjoy benefits such as lounge access and fast track lanes for immigration and check in.
Network and schedule efficiencies
The partnership has enabled both airlines to optimise their network and aircraft utilisation, with successes in ensuring customers are served year-round on routes with “seasonal” patterns, and while opening up opportunities for both carriers to serve new markets.
An example is the seasonal handover on the Dubai-Zagreb route where Emirates operates its large wide-body aircraft during the summer schedule, while flydubai’s single-aisle aircraft is deployed during the winter schedule. On 10 December, the Dubai-Yangon route will be operated by flydubai instead of Emirates, enabling the latter to concentrate on developing the Thailand and Cambodia markets.
Successful network optimisation between both airlines on flights to Multan, Mashad, Bangkok, Dhaka and Male had also freed up capacity for flydubai to re-deploy to open new markets including Krakow, Catania, Helsinki, Naples, Sochi and Krabi.
Emirates and flydubai continue to work closely on flight schedule alignment, with the aim of improving customer connectivity and expanding the number of flight connection options between both airlines.American and Qantas recently received final approval to form a joint business, which promises significant customer benefits not possible through any other form of cooperation.
The carriers have already rolled out improved frequent flyer benefits, including higher earning rates for points and status credits on each airline’s network, and have expanded codeshare routes on each other’s network. Qantas will also increase from six weekly flights between Sydney, Australia (SYD), and DFW to daily service by mid-2020. Additionally, Qantas announced new service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Brisbane, Australia (BNE), which will launch in February and April respectively.
Qantas will have its code on American’s new flights to New Zealand, giving Qantas frequent flyers more opportunities to earn and redeem Qantas points and status credits on American. Next year, American and Qantas will provide the most service to Australia and New Zealand from the United States.