Air travellers between Dubai and North America will benefit from swift and simple new connecting services starting from next month thanks to a tie-up by two leading world airlines.
Emirates, the Dubai-based international carrier, and US-based Continental Airlines 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. 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,” Mr Al Ghaith said.
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).
In a launch promotion, Business and First Class flyers using the link from 1st October to 15th December are being offered one and two free nights, respectively, in a single or double room at Inter-Continental hotels in New York, Houston or Dubai. The offer applies to Emirates customers from the UAE, USA, India, Kenya,Ê Kuwait, Mauritius, Moscow, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.