Emirates Airline and low-cost carrier Flydubai, both fully owned by Investment Corporation Dubai (ICD) but operated and managed by separate teams, will offer an “expansive” code-sharing arrangement starting in the final quarter of 2017.

It is understood that initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey and frequent flyer programmes alignment are under way.

The new model is envisaged to give Flydubai customers access to Emirates’ worldwide destinations and Emirates’ customers access to the low-cost carrier’s regional network.

The two airlines currently operate a fleet totalling 317 aircraft that travel to over 250 destinations.

  Active fleet Number of destinations

Emirates

259

157

Flydubai

58

95

Total

317

252

Source: Emirates

The plan is for the combined network to have 380 aircraft travelling to 240 destinations by 2022, Emirates said in a statement.

The statement maintains that both airlines will continue to be managed indepedently by separate teams and that the agreement is not tantamount to a merger.

Emirates Group generated AED94.7bn ($25.7bn) in revenue and $670m in profit in 2016, while Flydubai posted $1.37bn in revenue and $8.6m in profit. 

Emirates said more details about the partnership will be disclosed over the coming months.