On December 9th, a new interline agreement was announced between flydubai and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). This agreement will see the two carriers cooperate in providing their respective customers with more destinations via the other airline’s network. Since this only applies to select routes, let’s take a look at which destinations are on the table for each carrier.
Based in Dubai, hybrid carrier flydubai operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet. Photo: flydubai
Nine flydubai destinations accessible to PIA travelers
The new interline agreement allows PIA to sell seats to its customers for onward travel to nine destinations on flydubai flights. The nine cities are as follows:
Almaty (Kazakhstan)BahrainBaku (Azerbaijan)Baghdad (Iraq)Istanbul (Turkey)KuwaitMashhad (Iran)Moscow (Russia)Najaf (Iraq)
This means that PIA-loyal customers will be able to fly with their airline to Dubai and connect onwards to these destinations using flydubai aircraft- all on the same itinerary. As the airline’s statement notes, passengers will benefit from seamless service and increased connectivity with this new deal. But what does PIA gain from this?
PIA passengers can fly to Dubai and now connect onwards to nine destinations using flydubai. Photo: Getty Images
“The new interline will allow more passengers to benefit from easier connections on our established network in the GCC, Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, while adding more options to travel to Pakistan with PIA from the UAE and the region.” -Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai
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Three PIA destinations accessible to flydubai travelers
On the other side of this agreement, flydubai will be able to sell seats on PIA’s flights out of these three cities to Dubai:
With over 90 destinations on flydubai’s network, the Dubai-based airline’s customers are now able to connect in Dubai and travel onwards to the three major cities in Pakistan on PIA aircraft- again, on the same itinerary.
Of course, some of flydubai’s destinations wouldn’t make sense for a connection to Pakistan- mainly those in Pakistan and on the Indian subcontinent.
PIA’s main airports are located in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi. The carrier also operates a direct flight from Peshawar to Dubai. Photo: Getty Images
Significant and growing demand for travel between Pakistan and the destinations offered
flydubai notes that there is considerable demand between the three cities in Pakistan and the nine flydubai destinations involved.
flydubai has had a long history of service to Pakistan, starting service to the country in 2010 with the launch of flights to Karachi. Today, the Dubai-based carrier serves five points in Pakistan, including Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan, Quetta, and Sialkot.
“[The agreement] will enable both the carriers to cater to the strong customer demand for business and leisure travel between Dubai and Pakistan and beyond by providing our mutual customers a seamless travel experience.” -Air Marshal (R) Arshad Malik, Chief Executive Officer Pakistan International Airlines
It also sounds like more cooperation could be on the table in the future, with the PIA chief noting that the interline partnership was “a first step to build[ing] logical commercial development for both carriers.” Indeed, an interline agreement is a step below a codeshare. An even closer relationship, codeshares typically allow travelers to earn and redeem loyalty points on flights operated by the other carrier.
What do you think of this agreement? Is it mutually beneficial, or does one carrier benefit more than the other? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
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