Dubai’s first low cost airline, flydubai, has become one of the worlds’ fastest-growing, start-up airlines with the delivery of its fifth aircraft in five months. The Boeing 737-800NG is part of the historic order of 50 aircraft that flydubai placed with the American plane maker at the Farnborough Airshow last year and is financed by the US$320 million sale and leaseback deal recently announced with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
The new aircraft will immediately be put into service on flydubai’s first GCC route, Doha, with the first flight being on Sunday, October 18, 2009. The 737-800 Next Generation aircraft comes from a Boeing family that is officially the most commercially-successful model designed. There are 1,250 Boeing 737s in the air at any moment in time with one taking off every 4.6 seconds. Its reliability, safety, and fuel efficiency make the aircraft ideal for flydubai, which passes on the savings gained in lower maintenance and fuel costs to its customers.
The new twice-daily service to Doha is the first GCC destination for flydubai and the first direct service between Dubai and Qatar to be operated by a low-cost airline. Doha brings the total number of flydubai routes to seven, the others being Beirut-Lebanon, Amman-Jordan, Damascus and Aleppo-Syria, Alexandria-Egypt, and Djibouti-Africa.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai said: “In general, this is a difficult time for the aviation industry, but we are extremely happy with the progress flydubai has made since we became operational at the beginning of June. Taking an airline from a theory on a piece of paper to being fully operational and carrying thousands of passengers every week has been a huge challenge, and it is tremendously satisfying to see it working so well. flydubai is delivering on the promise to ensure people in this region have access to simple, uncomplicated, low-fare travel, and more people really are traveling to more destinations more often.
“Taking delivery of this aircraft on schedule is another boost to flydubai, and with this expanded fleet, we will be in a position to make a number of exciting route announcements in the near future.”
The Boeing NG 737-800 has a capacity of 189 economy passengers, can fly for more than 5,500km (3,000 nautical miles) and cruise at an altitude of between 35,000 and 41,000 feet. Flydubai is due to receive its sixth aircraft in December.
The flydubai model is simple, with customers paying only for the services they want to receive. The ticket price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10 kg per passenger.
Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just AED 40 for the first piece and AED 100 for the second, weighing up to 32 kg, subject to availability. Checked baggage at the airport is also strictly subject to availability and passengers are advised to book online early to secure the space, as only pre-purchased baggage can be guaranteed. A nominal payment of AED 5 allows customers to select their seat and just AED 50 secures the extra legroom positions. Bookings can be changed for a small fee, plus any difference in the fare, and food and drink can be purchased on board.
Flydubai operates from a modernized and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.