United and Emirates announce their codeshare plans: Travel Weekly

United Airlines and Emirates will launch a broad codeshare and interlining partnership in the coming months. 

In conjunction with the move, United will begin daily service between Newark and Dubai in March. 

The carriers also will begin a loyalty program partnership, providing United MileagePlus members with the opportunity to earn and redeem points when flying on Emirates or Emirates’ sister airline, Flydubai. Eligible United customers also will get access to Emirates lounges. Those perks will commence upon the launch of United’s Newark-Dubai service. 

The partnership, which was announced Wednesday at Washington Dulles Airport by United CEO Scott Kirby and Emirates president Tim Clark, had been anticipated since two weeks ago, when the carriers sent invites to the media for the event. 

Speculation was further bolstered last week, when Emirates announced that it would halt its codeshare agreement with JetBlue on Oct. 30. Emirates currently places its code on 156 JetBlue routes out of New York, Boston, Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Newark, San Francisco and Dallas. 

United previously flew to Dubai from Washington Dulles between October 2008 and January 2016. The carrier halted the route during a dispute between U.S. carriers United, American and Delta and Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad over alleged subsidies that those Gulf airlines received. 

That dispute ended in 2018 with the Big 3 U.S. carriers having failed to achieve their goal of convincing the federal government to cap the routes Emirates, Qatar and Etihad would be allowed to fly to the U.S. 

United is the second of the Big 3 to partner with one of the Gulf carriers since that time, following American, which codeshares with Qatar.

United said Wednesday that upon commencing Newark-Dubai service, its customers will be able to travel onward from Dubai to more than 100 cities on Emirates or Flydubai. 

Meanwhile, beginning in November, Emirates customers will have access to nearly 200 cities in United’s network via United’s hubs in Chicago, San Francisco and Houston. Traveling to some of those cities will require a second connection, United said, though it didn’t specify how many. 

From eight other  U.S. cities that Emirates currently serves — Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Seattle and Washington, D.C.  — United and Emirates will have an interline agreement. 

Flyers can begin to book joint United-Emirates itineraries through United and Emirates distribution channels as soon as today, with that functionality expanding over the next several weeks.

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