flydubai to start operations from Al Maktoum International Airport in coming years

by Tanvir Awan
flydubai to start operations from Al Maktoum International Airport in coming years

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of flydubai, stated that the Al Maktoum International Airport will provide flydubai with expanded opportunities for growth.

He emphasized that within the next few years, flydubai will commence operations in Jebel Ali, aiming to bolster its presence in Dubai World Central.

Al Ghaith explained that flydubai will operate from two locations initially — Jebel Ali and Dubai International Airport — before eventually transitioning to Al Maktoum International Airport.

He highlighted the significance of careful planning and coordination during this relocation process, asserting flydubai’s commitment to being actively involved in the transition plan.

flydubai has witnessed consistent growth in passenger numbers since the start of 2024, with nearly five million passengers flown between January 1 and April 28, marking a 13% increase compared to the same period last year.

flydubai destinations

During this period, flydubai has expanded its network, initiating operations to destinations including Al Jouf, Langkawi, Mombasa, Penang, and The Red Sea. Additionally, the airline has announced plans to further extend its reach in Europe with new flights to Basel, Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius. With the launch of its seasonal summer schedule running from June to October, flydubai’s network will encompass over 125 destinations across 58 countries.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “flydubai continues to consistently grow its network and I am pleased to see our operations grow further in South-East Asia with the addition of Malaysia as well as the ongoing expansion in the African and European markets in particular. The added capacity has seen more passengers travel with us since the beginning of this year even though this growth has been dampened by the ongoing delays in aircraft deliveries. We are still on track for one of the busiest summers on record with the start of the seasonal summer schedule from June. Our focus for the coming few months is the ambitious retrofit project across the fleet which will ensure an elevated and more consistent onboard experience for our customers.”

Fleet expansion

In terms of fleet expansion, flydubai has welcomed two new aircraft in 2024, bringing its total fleet to 86 Boeing 737 aircraft. Despite ongoing supply chain challenges, the airline expects an additional six aircraft to be delivered by year-end.

The airline’s fleet comprises 29 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800, 54 Boeing 737 MAX 8, and three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. A retrofit initiative launched in January 2024 aims to upgrade the cabin interior of the majority of its Next-Generation Boeing fleet, including the installation of lie-flat Business Class seats and new economy seats from RECARO, along with Inflight Entertainment systems. Additionally, flydubai plans to increase seat pitch on select recliner Business Class seats from 45 to 53 inches post-summer, enhancing passenger comfort on shorter to medium-haul flights.

The retrofit program is slated for completion by year-end and is being managed jointly by flydubai’s in-house maintenance team and GMR Aerotech MRO.

flydubai’s robust performance is further evidenced by its growing network, which now spans more than 125 destinations in 58 countries, with over 90 routes previously lacking direct air links to Dubai. The airline has increased frequencies across various markets, including the GCC, with notable enhancements in routes such as Colombo, Doha, Krakow, Milan, Salalah, and Beirut.

tanvir@dubainewsweek.com

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