How flydubai Works In Tandem With Emirates

Have you ever booked a journey with Emirates and found that part of it was operated by flydubai? There’s a very obvious reason behind that. In fact, it’s been nearly a full year since Emirates announced the ‘new heights‘ of its partnership with low-cost carrier flydubai. So what is their partnership all about?

Emirates and FlyDubai
The two Dubai-based airlines have been working together since 2017. Photo: Emirates

Codesharing since October 2017

With three years of partnership already established, both Dubai-based carriers have worked together to offer passengers more travel options as well as greater frequency and greater reach. According to Emirates, the partnership started with codeshare flights to just 29 cities. However, it has since expanded to 84.

The partnership began in October 2017 with codeshare agreements, schedule alignments and ‘network optimization’. Since the partnership began, both airlines have been managed independently.


“The partnership between Emirates and flydubai has really taken off and we are very pleased with what has been achieved. It has not only delivered tangible benefits to our collective customers, but also to both airlines in terms of the synergies that come with working closely together, for example reducing route overlaps and the realignment of schedules to common destinations,” – His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai.

Emirates aircraft
Emirates operates out of Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3. Photo: Emirates

Now connecting at T3 DXB

Since December 2nd, 2018 select flydubai flights have begun to operate from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport (DXB). As Terminal 3 is the home of Emirates at DXB, the goal of this move is to improve the connection process between the two airlines.

Essentially, these smaller flydubai flights can feed the larger planes of Emirates’ fleet. Similarly, Emirates passengers can seamlessly connect to smaller flydubai services. All of this can be done with shorter connection times as passengers won’t have to travel between terminals.


In the coming months, even more flydubai flights will be departing from Terminal 3. With the exception of the approximately 18 flydubai flights leaving from Terminal 3 of DXB, the home of flydubai is at Terminal 2 of the airport.

The home of flydubai is Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport. Photo: flydubai

One loyalty program

In August 2018, flydubai adopted Emirates Skywards as its loyalty program. Because of this, loyalty members earn the same currency with both airlines. This is what the Emirates website had to say about membership perks:

Members enjoy even more privileges as they move through the membership tiers – they earn bonus Miles, can use Business Class check-in desks when flying Economy Class, and enjoy extra baggage plus priority baggage delivery.

The benefits of using the same loyalty program are fairly obvious. Travelers are further encouraged to use the services of both airlines as they know they will accrue miles and status and enjoy the benefits of said status across both networks.


At the core of the partnership is the understanding that these two airlines are not competing against one another. In one way, flydubai can be seen as handling lower-demand routes in the partnership using its much smaller Boeing 737 aircraft. This allows Emirates to focus on long-haul flights and filling up its widebody jets like the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. With their forces combined, this partnership covers a wider variety of routes.

This partnership is becoming increasingly important as competition ramps up in the region. Emirates has to compete with full-service carriers like Etihad and Qatar Airways while flydubai is often seen as going head to head with Sharjah-based Air Arabia. The latter is also aligning with Etihad by forming Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. In Kuwait, Jazeera Airways is expanding, while India’s Spicejet will be forming its own UAE-based budget airline in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah.

Certainly, budget carriers partnering with legacy carriers will ensure greater survivability. This is because their networks will be able to feed connecting passengers to one another.

Have you had a combined flydubai-Emirates itinerary? Let us know how your experience was by leaving a comment!


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Yes, I have made a couple of journeys with both EK and FZ sectors and it works pretty well. The main problem is the transfer from DXB terminal 2 to 3 or vice versa. I have had the situation where the FZ flight parked on a remote stand quite close to terminal 3 and the shuttle bus then went all the way around the perimeter to terminal 2 in order for me to board the next bus to go all the way back again for the EK flight from terminal 3. I would be very wary of any connection time… Read more »


This also happens when you book a ticket with a DXB transit all on FZ, when one leg has been transferred to T3.
E.g. You land close to T2, from the tarmac, they put you on a 15+min bus to T3, then immediately take another bus back to T2.
There is an EK flight to keep all flights at T3 but the transit is longer.
I’ve taken both and do appreciate the checked luggage making it through.

Maureen Mcgregor

I recently flew with FlyDubai from Dubai to Zagreb for the second leg of my Emirates booking. Emirates have always been my preferred carrier for their excellent safety record and great service and care on board. I have to say I was very disappointed in this particular experience with Flydubai. Literally half of the entertainment viewing screens on board did not work, and stewards appeared stressed and distant. Except for greeting guests on entry & at exit of the plane the staff were without a smile for the duration of the flight and even abrupt at times. The safety spiel… Read more »


Great experience with the Fly Dubai staff (regards to Mr.Rami )on a short flights but, I prefer Emirates Airline on a longer distance. Fly Dubai is a low cost airline and of course that must be a differences between these two companies . The most important is the safety of its passengers which both are taking a good care . Long live the UAE

Barbara Ceglarski

So glad I have the opportunity to share my experience. I flew from Brisbane to Dubai with Emirates then to Krakow with Flydubai in August 2019. The Flydubai leg was the worst flight of my life. Starting with a terrible shuttle out to the 777 in an uncomfortable mostly standing room only vehicle that took us out to the nether parts of Dubai runway . Then we were delayed taking off because a male passenger refused to sit in his allocated seat. The crew did not have the gumption to deal with him and so we were delayed by30 minutes… Read more »

Riaz Osmani

There is only one problem with this otherwise good arrangement between Emirates and FlyDubai. The passenger experience in the second is aweful. FlyDubai needs to become a full service carrier operating small planes if this arrangement is to remain attractive for passengers.


flydubai was great as long as it was independent. Healthy competition, good for both. Since the merger things have changed dramatically. As if “we are Emirates now” has made everyone at flydubai complacent. The inaudible announcements on board (who cares that no one can understand one word). The disgusting food. The stewardesses not caring one bit about bumping their behinds into your shoulder 30x in six hours. Add to that having to go through that horrible Terminal 3 instead of the quick in, quick out T2. The endless bus transfers (20 mins to get to the plane or arrival gate… Read more »