On the Beach has teamed up with Emirates to offer direct flights to Dubai, marking the OTA’s first move into the medium- to long-haul holiday sector.
In doing so, it becomes the first OTA to launch direct integration with Emirates through the airline’s new distribution capability (NDC) API Online B2B.
The OTA will offer Dubai flights from eight UK airports, tapping into demand for beach resorts on the Arabian Gulf such as Ras Al Khaimah.
On the Beach says it is also now directly contracting hotels in the region, focusing on four and five-star properties in Dubai and all-inclusives in Ras Al Khaimah.
It has also developed its online platform to accommodate scheduled flights, as well as its current focus on low-cost and charter flights.
Integration with Emirates will be supported by additional staff, focusing on new product, and “significant marketing investment”.
Daily flights to Dubai will be available through On the Beach from Newcastle, Stansted and Edinburgh, and multiple daily flights from Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow.
Passengers travelling with Emirates through On the Beach will get 30kg checked baggage and access to online check-in.
Bill Allen, On the Beach chief supply officer, said: “Emirates offers a fantastic passenger experience and the UAE, in particular Dubai and increasingly Ras Al Khaimah, are incredibly popular year-round destinations amongst British holidaymakers.
“Dubai has an exceptional range of hotel product and we are looking forward to becoming a major partner for the destination.”
Bill Cavendish, Emirates’ vice-president distribution strategy, added Online B2B would extend its brand to online retailers and “ease integration” with existing trading platforms while allowing it to “collaborate more effectively with the travel industry”.