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

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

Aaronp / Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

United Airlines and Emirates will sell seats on one another’s planes, marking a turnaround within the business models of the one-time foes.

As a part of the deal, United said it’s going to start flights to Dubai next 12 months.

The codeshare agreement, which the CEOs announced Wednesday, will give the airlines access to the opposite carrier’s destinations and is the newest sign of thawing in the connection between U.S. and Gulf airlines, particularly as international air travel rebounds from greater than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

United and other major U.S. carriers like Delta Air Lines and American Airlines had spent years lobbying against big Persian Gulf airlines’ expansion in the US, arguing the state-owned carriers were competing unfairly with backing from government subsidies, which those countries denied.

Emirates said last week it’s ending its codeshare partnership with United rival JetBlue Airways on Oct. 30. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad said it’s going to expand its partnership with Latest York-based JetBlue.

Qatar Airways and American Airlines in June said they’d expand their codeshare partnership.

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