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A low cost airline based at Dubai International Airport, fydubai was founded on 19-Mar-2008 and commenced operations on 1-Jun-2009. The LCC operates passenger services with Boeing 737NGs to destinations within the Middle East as well as in Africa, Asia and Europe. While not part of the Emirates Group, flydubai was founded by Emirates Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
There is some cooperation with Emirates, which also provides connectivity (through baggage checking and dual boarding pass issuance) on “complementary” destinations.
Location of flydubai main hub (Dubai International Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider flydubai fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
470 total articles
57 total articles
Sharjah based Air Arabia, the Middle East's most successful and until recently overtaken by flydubai, the region's largest LCC, reported a net profit of AED59 million (USD16 million) for the three months to the end of Mar-2013.
The result continues a remarkable run of profitable results for the carrier, stretching all the way back to its first year of operations, even through the Arab Spring period - resulting in a near-doubling of its share price over the past year.
Expansion plans continue, with a new order in the offing, to be selected from the A320neo, 737 MAX and the Bombardier CSeries, according to CEO, Adel Ali.
Dubai International Airport (DXB) continues its inexorable march to become the world’s largest airport by international passenger traffic. At the end of Mar-2013, the airport announced it had been confirmed as the world’s second busiest airport for international passenger traffic, moving ahead of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for the first time on a month to month basis.
Only London Heathrow Airport remains a bigger hub for international traffic. Given the pace of traffic growth in Dubai, the capacity constraints at London Heathrow and the dithering by UK authorities about runway capacity in southeast England, it is only a matter of time before Dubai becomes the world’s largest international passenger hub.
Dubai Airports believes DXB can take the top spot by the end of 2015.
flydubai has recorded its first annual profit and is preparing more rapid expansion for 2013 and beyond. flydubai, which has already surpassed Sharjah-based Air Arabia as the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East based on seat capacity, is now looking at placing a new order for 50 narrowbody aircraft. It is already committed to growing its fleet from a current 28 737-800s to at least 50 aircraft by the end of 2015.
flydubai has grown rapidly since being launched in 2009 by the Dubai government, which also owns Emirates. Over the years it has adopted a hybrid model which allows it to fill, in some respects, a role as a regional carrier for its bigger full-service sister carrier. The hybrid approach has resulted in rapid and profitable expansion as flydubai has entered short and medium-haul markets that are too small for Emirates’ all-widebody fleet but in many cases have sufficient yields to support a full-service carrier. At the same time flydubai has been able to stimulate demand by offering low fares and is able to successfully operate alongside Emirates on some of the biggest routes within the Middle East.
flydubai looks like it is set to join sister carrier Emirates in the black this year, according to CEO Ghaith al Ghaith. While it is too early for the carrier to provide an estimated figure, Mr Al Ghaith, talking to Gulf News, said flydubai expects to make a profit in what is just its third full year of operations. However, the CEO expects a "difficult year with the increase in oil prices".
The LCC phenomenon in the Middle East is entering the home stretch of its first decade. The importance of the LCC market in the Middle East has grown steadily since the launch of the region’s first LCC flights by Air Arabia in Oct-2003, but the growth has not been as high as initially anticipated, as carriers can attest to.
Just four airlines make up the regional LCC market – Air Arabia, flydubai, Jazeera Airways and NAS Air. Air Arabia also has two subsidiary carriers – Air Arabia Maroc, launched in 2007, and Air Arabia Egypt, launched in 2010. A third, based in Jordan, has been on hold for several years.
There are also some smaller carriers in the region that are filling the gap between LCCs and full service airlines. Bahrain Air markets itself as a “premium value” carrier, including some LCC elements in its model but also offering two seating classes – including an all-new business class cabin – and a correspondingly greater emphasis on service and product levels. RAK Airways, based in the UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, also has low cost elements, but like Bahrain Air has adopted a hybrid model between full service and low-cost airlines.
Middle East sixth freedom hubs add 8 million passengers in 2011 as home carriers plan further growth
The three major sixth freedom hubs in the Middle East – Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi – added 7.7 million passengers between them in 2011. Passenger traffic at the three hubs continues to grow by leaps and bounds, regardless of the regional disruptions that affected traffic in the Middle East last year. Much of this is testament to the strength of their home carriers, the industry aligned development policies pursued at each airport and the vision of local governments to transform their cities into major aviation centres.
Combined, the three hubs had an average passenger traffic growth rate of 10.5%. This is a notably stronger performance than the rest of the Middle East, where international traffic expanded 8.9% over 2011. Hub growth is closely tied to growth from each hub's main carrier: Etihad Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways. All three have already announced significant expansion in the near future.
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