United Airlines appears ready to enter into a partnership with Middle Eastern giant Emirates.
On Tuesday, United sent invites to the media for a joint United and Emirates event at Washington Dulles Airport on Sept. 14. The event is to feature United CEO Scott Kirby and Emirates president Tim Clark.
The invitation followed less than a day behind a report Monday in the industry publication The Air Current, which stated that United and Emirates are ready to unveil a codeshare agreement.
The story was based on anonymous sources that The Air Current said are familiar with the partnership.
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By teaming up with Emirates, United could offer its customers access to Emirates' network of 152 destinations, including a wide array of destinations in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East. United customers would access those locations via the Emirates hub in Dubai, which United does not currently serve.
Conversely, the partnership could give Emirates customers broader reach into the U.S. Emirates currently places its code on 156 JetBlue routes out of JFK, Boston, Orlando, LAX, Miami, Chicago O'Hare, Seattle, Newark, San Francisco and Dallas, the carrier's website says.
Emirates also flies nonstop from Dubai to 11 U.S. destinations.
A partnership between United and Emirates would compete against the codeshare partnership of American and Qatar Airways, which those carriers launched during the pandemic. Delta would be the lone U.S. Big Three carrier not partnering with one of the Gulf Three carriers of Emirates, Qatar and Etihad.