Six years after Flydubai ceased contracting maintenance to Emirates Engineering, the no-frills carrier has agreed a new deal with its full-service neighbour.

An extensive codesharing deal between Emirates and Flydubai always made sense given that the former has no short-haul network, the latter doesn’t fly long-haul and the government of Dubai owns both.

Moreover, impetus for the deal has grown recently: In 2017 Emirates reported its first fall in annual profit in five years and Flydubai’s annual profit has contracted for the past two years.

Under the new partnership the two airlines will coordinate scheduling from their hub at Dubai International, with Flydubai feeding traffic from around the Middle East onto Emriates’ medium- and long-haul flights.

Emirates and Flydubai are also collaborating on commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey and frequent flyer programmes alignment.

These will significantly deepen existing ties, which include an interline agreement at Dubai International.

The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017.

However, the airlines will continue to be run as independent companies.

“Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai,” says Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is chairman of both Emirates and Flydubai.

By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and Flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations (from 216 today), served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.

Flydubai took all of its maintenance and engineering in house in April 2010.