On the Beach has signed a deal with Emirates Airline that will see it add holidays to Dubai and other Gulf beach resorts.
It has launched a ‘direct integration’ with Emirates’ Online B2B so it can offer direct flights to Dubai from eight UK airports.
It is the first UK-based OTA to sign this kind of deal with the airline and says it is currently in talks with a number of other airlines to support long-haul expansion.
Although it features long-haul holidays on its website, On the Beach has historically focused on short and mid-haul holidays to Europe and Egypt. This is the first time it has partnered with an airline to focus specifically on growing its long-haul offering.
It has taken on new contracting staff and is now directly contracting hotels in the region, focusing on four and five star properties in Dubai and all-inclusive properties in Ras Al Khaimah.
On the Beach said the expansion will be supported by ‘significant marketing investment’.
“Having fine-tuned its core business, which has historically focused on short haul holidays, On the Beach will introduce medium to long haul holidays, which will focus on Dubai and popular Arabian Gulf beach resorts such as Ras Al Khaimah,” said today’s announcement.
Bill Cavendish, Emirates’ vice president distribution strategy, said: “Emirates has launched Online B2B – its IATA NDC Level 2-certified API – to extend its online brand into travel retailers and ease integration into their own trading platforms, thereby enhancing our mobile and B2C strategy, and allowing us to collaborate more effectively with the travel industry. We are delighted to have partnered with On the Beach on this integration.”
Bill Allen, chief supply officer at On the Beach, said: “Dubai has an exceptional range of hotel product and we are looking forward to becoming a major partner for the destination.”