Emirates vs flydubai – A Look At The Destinations Served

flydubai has 115 destinations from Dubai International this year, both those served non-stop and one-stop. Of these, some 34 destinations – or 29% – are also served by big brother Emirates, the lowest percentage of overlap to date. Where do they both serve and what destination has the most overlap? And what flydubai destinations don’t overlap?

Emirates vs flydubai – A Look At The Destinations Served
Emirates and flydubai have 34 destinations that overlap. Photo: Getty Images.

The 29% overlap between both carriers is down from a high of 40% in 2012, analyzing their networks using OAG data shows. About a month ago, Simple Flying examined the “almost a merger” relationship between the pair. This is focused on the use of flydubai’s B737-800s and MAXs, which nicely complement Emirates’ widebodies. The number of unique destinations that flydubai brings is also crucial.

Emirates vs flydubai – A Look At The Destinations Served
flydubai and Emirates have cut four overlapping destinations versus 2019. Emirates ceased operating three routes (Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, Yangon, and Zagreb) and flydubai ended just one (Islamabad). Photo: Getty Images.

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34 overlapping routes this year

The 34 routes that overlap with Emirates have 4.9 million flydubai seats. In other words, just shy of half (48%) of the hybrid carrier’s total seats from Dubai are on routes that match Emirates – a huge amount.

This is because the overlapping markets are mostly within the Middle East – where flydubai normally has pretty high frequencies – and across South Asia. The top-10 overlapping markets by total seats this year are as follows.

  • Male
  • Karachi
  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Bahrain
  • Dhaka
  • Jeddah
  • Beirut
  • Amman
  • Kuwait
Emirates vs flydubai – A Look At The Destinations Served
These are the destinations to which flydubai and Emirates overlap this year. Note that flydubai has more scheduled capacity to only four: Kabul (KBL); Medina (MED); and Muscat (MCT). Image: GCMap.

Male is now #1

Dubai to Male, the capital to the Maldives and the gateway to the country, is the destination to which both carriers overlap the most in terms of available seats. flydubai has served Male since 2013, but it ended in 2019. However, it has since been brought back to benefit from the uptick in leisure demand because of coronavirus.

Emirates vs flydubai – A Look At The Destinations Served
Emirates and flydubai can right-size markets and adjust routes that may otherwise be cut or operated only seasonally. It also enables them to perhaps focus more on core capabilities while providing more capacity during particular waves with smaller gauge aircraft. Photo: Getty Images.

Over a million seats to Male

In 2021, the pair have 1.1 million seats to/from the Maldivian capital, significantly more than ever before. They have up to six daily departures from Dubai, of which four are by Emirates with first-class-equipped B777-300ERs and the rest are by 174-seat 738s with 14 business seats. London Heathrow to Male was found to be Emirates’ seventh-thickest origin and destination in 2019.

This coming August 13th, for example, Dubai to Male has the following schedule, with all times local. As always, the times are designed for connectivity over the UAE hub, which also explains the significant bunching, including three departures (!) within one hour.

  • 02:00: flydubai; B737-800
  • 02:30: Emirates; B777-300ER
  • 04:20: Emirates; B777-300ER
  • 09:10: flydubai; B737-800
  • 09:45: Emirates; B777-300ER
  • 10:10: Emirates; B777-300ER
Emirates vs flydubai – A Look At The Destinations Served
This map shows the destinations flydubai doesn’t serve alongside Emirates. Of these, Tel Aviv (TLV) is now flydubai’s thickest this year, despite being pretty new. It has been helped by the vaccination progress in Israel. Image: GCMap.

What destinations does flydubai bring?

flydubai brings 82 unique destinations – those not also operated by Emirates – this year. See them in the map, above. They include Doha, to which Emirates used to operate the A380 before the blockade, and Tel Aviv, which Emirates has neither scheduled nor on sale.

They also include seven destinations in Saudi Arabia, 15 across Central and Eastern Europe, 14 in Russia, six in Central Asia, and five in Iran.

What are your thoughts about the two carriers? Let us know in the comments.