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Hope For Low-Cost Airline Alternative

East Africa hoping for Fly Dubai interest

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  May 07, 2011

(eTN) - The announcement earlier this week that Dubai’s own low-cost airline, Fly Dubai, is eyeing over 40 destinations by the end of 2011, has raised hope and interest in Eastern African aviation circles, that after the recent opening of the route between Dubai to Addis Ababa, other destinations like Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, and Entebbe could be on the airline’s drawing board.

The airline is presently flying to 36 destinations from its hub in Dubai, all within a 5-hour range, and the key Eastern African airports do fall into that bracket. The success of Sharjah’s low-cost airline, Air Arabia, on the route to Nairobi, increasing their frequencies to daily flights at present, will also be a hint for Fly Dubai that there is room for a lot more traffic, especially in the low-cost segment of the market, which has been rather underrepresented in the traffic uplift by conventional full-service airlines in spite of eye-catching special offers at certain times of the year when seats are in less demand and have to be filled at almost any cost.

Fly Dubai, now just about two years in operation, is presently taking delivery of NG B737-800s at a record pace, with a total of 50 such state-of-the-art, single-aisle planes on order and due to join the fleet over the next 4 years.

East Africa hoping for Fly Dubai interest
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