Emirates, the Dubai-based international carrier, and US-based Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) will start codesharing on flights between Dubai and the US via London Gatwick airport. A new marketing link will also allow travellers on both carriers to enjoy access to one another’s airport lounges, as well as enhanced frequent flyer benefits.
For travel from September 15, 2003 Continental will place its CO flight code on Emirates services between Dubai and Gatwick connecting with Continental flights to and from Houston and New York Newark airports. Emirates will place its EK code on Continental flights to and from Houston and New York Newark connecting via Gatwick with Emirates services to Dubai.
Customers then check in just once, receiving seat assignments and boarding passes to their final destination at the same time, and collecting their bags at the end of their trip.
Emirates and Continental have had a fully-reciprocal frequent flyer agreement since August 2000.Ê Members of Continental’s OnePass and Emirates’ Skywards frequent flyer programmes earn miles on all flights by either airline worldwide and may redeem their miles on selected flights with each other.
Effective September 15, 2003, elite qualification and bonus miles will be awarded to OnePass and Skywards members on codeshare flights (CO*/EK*) operated by the two airlines. Continental BusinessFirst customers travelling between Dubai and the US will have access to Emirates` Business Class lounge at Dubai International Airport, and Emirates Business Class customers flying between Dubai and the US will have access to Continental’s Presidents’ Club lounges at London Gatwick, New York Newark and Houston.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Executive Vice-President Commercial Operations Worldwide, said this week: “This link will offer customers of both airlines seamless connections between our two countries, helping to boost trade and tourism. These connecting services will also complement our own non-stop flights between Dubai and New York, our first North American destination, which start from next year,”
David Grizzle, Continental’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, said: “We’re proud to be associated with an internationally acclaimed carrier that is as committed to excellence in customer service and product delivery as we are. Our long-standing relationship with Emirates has proven particularly beneficial to Continental’s customers who have energy-related travel to the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, and the start of codesharing creates additional benefits and opportunities for customers of both airlines.”
Trade links between Dubai and the US are strong. In 2001 the combined value of Dubai’s exports and re-exports to the US was 555 million AED (US $151m), while imports from the US to Dubai were worth 5,731m AED (US $1.56bn).
Emirates has received some 250 awards for service since its launch in 1985.Ê This year it was voted Passenger Service Airline of the Year and Runner-Up Airline of the Year by readers of US magazine Air Transport World. It was also voted Best Economy and Best Airline to the Middle East by Skytrax Research. Its 53 Boeing and Airbus jets have an average age of just three years, and at this year’s Paris Air Show it signed the largest deal in aviation history, confirming orders for 71 new aircraft worth US$19bn to take its fleet to 125 planes by 2012.
Financially-independent Emirates, one of the world`s five most profitable airlines, serves 68 cities in 48 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific.
The Emirates Group also includes Al Maha, Arabian Adventures, Dnata, Emirates Holidays, Emirates SkyCargo, Mercator, Transguard and Galileo. Visit www.emirates.com
Continental is the world’s seventh-largest airline with more than 2,200 departures a day.Ê With 130 domestic and 95 international destinations, Continental has the broadest global route network of any US airline, including extensive service throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and carries approximately 41 million passengers a year on the newest jet fleet among major US airlines.Ê With 48,000 employees, Continental is one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America.
In 2003, Fortune magazine ranked Continental highest among major US carriers on the quality of its service and products, and No. 2 on its list of Most Admired Global Airlines.Ê For more company information, visit www.continental.com
In Europe and the Middle East, Continental serves 17 cities in 11 countries, operating up to 168 departures weekly to its US gateway hubs at New York/Newark, Houston and Cleveland, with onward connections to cities throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Continental’s BusinessFirst won the Best Executive/Business Class award at the OAG Airline of the Year Awards 2003.Ê Continental’s alliance carriers in Europe include Air Europa, FlyBE (British European), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and Virgin Atlantic Airways.