AirwaysMag is reporting that Emirates and Flydubai are likely to merge in the next 18 months. This comes from Aviation Voice reporting that Tim Clark, President of Emirates, saying that if the deal is not yet already finalized it is imminent. The article continues to describe how this would be beneficial to emirates, as it allows the company to serve airports that would not be capable of handling it’s mainline routes.
This news was broken nearly a week ago so it surprised me that this was not on the community. This is a major development for the Big M3 (Big 3 Middle Eastern Airlines) as Emirates is the largest of the three and will solidify its position as the top dog in the Middle East. The article also suggests that with such a development it would not be surprising to see Emirates order 737-Max10 for Flydubai and 787-8 for the mainline Emirates group. I would say it is highly unlikely that Emirates will merge the brand with theirs, but would opt to keep them as a low cost subsidy thus not to have the two products conflict with each other, as Emirates is more focused on a more luxurious flight than Flydubai. In addition, with the city of Dubai changing from a oil business city to a tourist city the change is needed as this allows Emirates to cater to the low cost tourism industry that would allow them to make up for any potential future dips in the oil market as was seen in 2014-2015.
Emirates has officially announced that they have partnered with Flydubai and have a code share agreement. Unlike previous reports the airlines with be managed separately but now they are sharing revenue one both FlyDubai routes and Emirates routes.