Emirates and United sign new agreement to expand market presence

September 20, 2022 | 16:12
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Emirates and United signed a historic commercial agreement on September 19 that will enhance each airline’s network and give their customers easier access to hundreds of new destinations within the United States and around the world.
Emirates and United expand market presence through new agreement

From November, Emirates customers flying into Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston – three of the biggest business hubs in the US – will be able to easily connect to United flights to and from nearly 200 cities across the Americas on a single ticket.

At the eight other US airports served by Emirates – Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, JFK, Orlando, Seattle, and Washington DC – both airlines will have an interline arrangement in place.

United will launch a new direct flight between New York (Newark) and Dubai starting in March 2023. From there, customers can travel on Emirates or its sister airline flydubai to more than 100 cities. Tickets for United’s new Dubai flight are now on sale.

Emirates and United announced their agreement at a ceremonial event at Dulles International Airport, hosted by United CEO Scott Kirby and Emirates president Sir Tim Clark, featuring United and Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and flight crews from each carrier.

Sir Tim Clark said, “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. It’s a significant partnership that will unlock tremendous consumer benefits and bring the United Arab Emirates and the United States even closer. We welcome United’s return to Dubai next year, where our hub essentially becomes a gateway for United to reach Asia, Africa, and the Middle East via the combined network of Emirates and flydubai. We look forward to developing our partnership with United for the long term.”

United CEO Scott Kirby said, “This agreement unites two iconic, flag carrier airlines who share a common commitment to creating the best customer experience in the skies.”

“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. This is a proud moment for both United and Emirates employees, and I look forward to our journey together,” he said.

Emirates customers can connect on United to nearly 200 new cities in the Americas, through Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston.

Customers of both airlines can soon book these connecting flights on a single ticket – making check-in and luggage transfer faster and easier. For example, travellers can visit the United website or use the United app to book a flight from Newark, New York to Karachi, Pakistan or go to the Emirates website to book a flight from Dubai to Atlanta or Honolulu.

This agreement will also give the loyalty programme members of both airlines more opportunities for more rewards. Emirates Skywards members can soon earn miles when they travel on United-operated flights, and United Mileage Plus members flying on United’s New York (Newark) to Dubai flight can earn and redeem miles when connecting on Emirates and flydubai.

Eligible customers travelling on codeshare flights will also soon enjoy access to Emirates and United lounges. More details on frequent flyer awards and lounge-sharing benefits will be announced in the coming weeks.

Both airlines have recently announced significant investments in their customer experience. Emirates will retrofit more than 120 aircraft as part of a $2 billion effort that includes elevated meal choices, a brand-new vegan menu, a cinema in the sky experience, cabin interior upgrades, and sustainable choices.

United will add 500 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft to its fleet with a focus on a new signature interior that includes seat-back screens in every seat, larger overhead bins, Bluetooth connectivity throughout, and the industry’s fastest available in-flight WiFi.

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