United Airlines partners with one-time foe Emirates, will launch Dubai flights

Emirates Airlines Boeing 777-31H(ER) takes off from Los Angeles International Airport on January 13, 2021.

Aaronp / Bauer-Griffin | GC pictures | Getty Images

United Airlines and Emirates will sell seats on each other’s planes, marking a shift in the business models of former foes.

As part of the deal, United said it would launch flights to Dubai next year.

The codeshare deal, which the CEOs announced on Wednesday, will give the airlines access to each other’s destinations and is the latest sign of a thaw in relations between U.S. and Gulf airlines. especially as international air travel rebounds after more than two years of Covid-19 pandemic.

It will also allow passengers to earn and burn frequent flyer miles on each carrier.

United and other major US carriers like Delta Airlines and American airlines had spent years lobbying against the expansion of major Persian Gulf airlines into the United States, arguing that common carriers competed unfairly with government subsidy support, which those countries denied.

Emirates announced last week that it was ending its codeshare partnership with rival United Jet Blue Airways October 30. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad announced it would expand its partnership with New York-based JetBlue.

Qatar Airways and American Airlines announced in June that they would expand their codeshare partnership.

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