Gulf News Report
Dubai: Dubai’s aviation landscape will receive a strong boost next year when the new budget airline FlyDubai takes off, as Emirates is becoming expensive for many budget passengers who have been shying away from full service airlines and gradually shifting to Sharjah-based Air Arabia.
It will also help strengthen competition out of Dubai which is being served by Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways and Air India Express. Jazeera uses Dubai as its second hub.
By then, a second airport, Al Maktoum International airport, will become operational 40 km from Dubai International, in Jebel Ali. FlyDubai will initially focus on regional flights within the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and surrounding countries. Its operations will be entirely separate from Emirates airline and group.
“FlyDubai’s operations will potentially cover an area of some two billion inhabitants. It will support Dubai’s commercial and tourism sectors by serving a new set of travellers, and providing them with affordable air links to popular, high-demand destinations. A lot of groundwork has been done thus far, and I’m pleased to note that FlyDubai is on track to launch its first flights by mid-2009,” said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, who is also chairman of FlyDubai.
Earlier, the Dubai government announced the new low-cost airline, FlyDubai – the second budget carrier of the UAE after Air Arabia.
Gaith Al Gaith, Chief Executive of FlyDubai, said, “We are recruiting for key positions, evaluating aircraft options and routes, working out our pricing and distribution strategy, and putting in place the structure and operational resources for the business.”