Emirates and United, two of the world’s biggest airlines are set to disrupt the global travel market and also make a bold Public Relations statement, as they both enter into a new strategic partnership.
Emirates and United announced a historic commercial agreement today 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.
From November, Emirates customers flying into Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston – three of the biggest business hubs in the U.S – will be able to easily connect onto United flights to and from nearly 200 cities across the Americas on a single ticket.
At the eight other U.S. 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 will be able to 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 today 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.
Emirates + United Airlines
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline 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 benefit and bring the United Arab Emirates and the United States even closer. We welcome United’s return to Dubai next year, where our hub Dubai 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.”
Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines 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.”
Brand and PR power
Both airlines have recently announced significant investments in the 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.
At United, the airline 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.
Emirates and United Airlines will also be deploying their public relations pedigree to further endear their mega brands to discerning travelers around the world