Emirates passengers will gain access to six new Indian destinations via its Dubai hub thanks to a new codeshare agreement with SpiceJet. Both airlines fly between Dubai and Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Cochin and Delhi. The new partnership adds services to Amritsar, Calicut, Mangalore, Madurai, Jaipur and Pune on the Emirates map. The deal is the first code-sharing partnership ever agreed to by SpiceJet and remains subject to government approval.
We are very pleased to partner with Emirates for this new codeshare agreement which will offer a seamless travel experience and the widest possible travel options to our passengers travelling to and from Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East. This codeshare will further strengthen our position in the region and complement our international expansion strategy.– Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet
The codeshare option allows for Emirates to expand its reach into India without increasing its own services. That is critical as the bilateral relationship between the UAE and India limits the total number of seats that can be flown between the countries. While that bilateral agreement may be up for renegotiation in the near future the codeshare opens up access almost immediately. The two carriers intend to begin sales of seats through the deal today, for travel beginning 15 December 2019.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer nots that the new partnership “will help us leverage SpiceJet’s extensive route network, so that our customers who are visiting friends and family can fly closer to their hometowns, while tourists can more easily access many of the incredible sights and sounds India has to offer.” He also suggests that the relationship could strengthen in the coming months. Presumably this could include frequent flyer program reciprocity and other benefits.
The Emirates/SpiceJet codeshare deal helps replace some of the connectivity lost when Jet Airways stopped operations earlier this year. It also comes as Qatar Airways, with a similar but differently limited agreement, also seeks to add partners and capacity into India. Or possibly invest in one of the carriers, though that seems less likely. And certainly less likely a good idea.