Emirates is poised to increase its reach into India through a reciprocal codeshare agreement with low-cost carrier SpiceJet that will add six new destinations from Dubai.
Still subject to government approval, the deal will add the SpiceJet ports of Amritsar, Jaipur, Pune, Mangalore, Madurai and Calicut to the nine Indian gateway cities already served by Emirates.
It will add 67 weekly connections between Emirates’ hub in Dubai to the six cities as well as increased domestic connectivity from Gulf carrier’s nine Indian gateways to points such as Goa, Hubli, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Tuticorin.
The airlines say the deal will allow for a greater variety of travel options on flights from both carriers.
They are planning to optimize schedules to give passengers traveling to and from India more choice and minimum connection times when connecting to Emirates’ European, North American and South American networks.
“Our journey in India has been defined by progressive investment, partnership and growth,’’ Emirates divisional vice president Adnan Kazim said in the announcement.
“ We constantly try to improve and provide our customers with greater flexibility and travel choices.
“This partnership with SpiceJet and the mutual expansion of our network will go a long way in further enhancing the travel experience of our customers in India as well as those heading into India, benefiting travelers and businesses alike.’’
SpiceJet is India’s second-biggest airline in terms of domestic market share. Launched in its current form in 2005, it now serves 51 cities in India and nine international destinations.
It is currently benefiting from the grounding of debt-laden rival Jet Airways and is adding aircraft reclaimed from Jet’s fleet by lessors to expand its operations.
SpiceJet managing director Ajay Singh said the partnership should “immensely benefit passengers traveling on both airlines”.
“While SpiceJet passengers from across India will be able to enjoy seamless connectivity leveraging Emirates vast network across Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East those traveling to India on Emirates will be able to travel to 51 destinations across our domestic network.”