TAP Portugal and Emirates have announced a “commercial cooperation” agreement, which will include a reciprocal codeshare agreement and the linking of the two carriers’ frequent flyer programmes.
The agreement – which takes effect for travel from December 21 – will allow passengers to purchase single tickets for connecting Emirates and TAP Portugal services, as well as enabling members of the Emirates Skywards and TAP Victoria loyalty schemes to earn and redeem miles when flying on either carrier.
Emirates will place its codes on TAP flights from Lisbon to Porto, Faro, Funchal, Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, while Star Alliance member TAP Portugal will place its code on Emirates’ services between Lisbon and Dubai, and onwards to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Skywards members will be able to accrue miles when flying in economy or Executive (business) class with TAP, while TAP Victoria members will be able to do the same when flying in economy, business or first class with Emirates.
As our consumer editor Alex McWhirter reported in his analysis piece Do alliances still engender airline loyalty? last month, alliance member carriers are increasingly partnering with non-aligned (and particularly the increasingly powerful Gulf-based) airlines.
Recent examples include Oneworld carrier Qantas’s far reaching agreement with Emirates, and Oneworld’s Air Berlin striking up codeshare deals with Skyteam's Air France - KLM, and Gulf airline Etihad Airways on routes between Europe, the Far East and Australia.
On the other hand Gulf carrier Qatar Airways has made the decision to join the Oneworld alliance next year, partnering with the likes of BA, Iberia, AA, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.
Report by Mark Caswell