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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Flydubai eyes new routes with Emirates partnership and longer-range jets 

The airlines are considering more routes to Europe, Africa and the Far East, flydubai CEO says 

Emirates and flydubai are considering more routes to Europe, Africa and the Far East, flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith says. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Emirates and flydubai are considering more routes to Europe, Africa and the Far East, flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith says. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Flydubai is eyeing new routes to add to its growing network of global destination as it deepens ties with Emirates and gets deliveries of Boeing narrow-body jets with longer flight range.

The Dubai-based low-cost carrier and the world’s biggest long-haul airline are considering more routes to Europe, Africa and the Far East, Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive of Flydubai, said on Monday. Deliveries of flydubai’s Boeing 737 Max 9 jets, starting in the second half of the year will help the airlines build on existing codeshare partnerships.

“Based on the success of these routes, we can add more routes,” Al Ghaith told reporters in Dubai on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. “There will be more places in Europe, there will be places in Africa, there will be places in the Far East.”

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Flydubai expects seven new aircraft deliveries in 2018, a combination of 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9, adding to its fleet of 737-800 planes and allowing it to fly a longer range of up to eight hours. The carrier, earlier this week, said it would begin flights to Finland’s capital Helsinki in October, a destination that Emirates does not serve and one of the services that stretches flydubai’s average flying time.

More than 400,000 passengers have used a codeshare agreement covering 90 flights between the two airlines from November to March, Emirates said in a separate statement on Monday. The partnership was announced in July and the first codeshare flights began at the end of October.

“It’s a very good boost for us because it gives us an opportunity to grow into markets that are well-established,” Al Ghaith said.

Flydubai is also planning to increase its flight frequencies to Russia to cater to an expected spike in bookings prior to the World Cup football matches in the country, he said, declining to provide the number of additional flights.

The carrier currently serves 11 airports in Russia.

“We have big demand, especially from Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” he said, referring to the Arab countries with teams qualified for the World Cup.

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