'Dubai has enabled flydubai to flourish'

CEO praises UAE’s infrastructure at budget carriers' congress

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of Dubai’s low-cost airline flydubai has explained the importance of the UAE’s role in allowing the airline to flourish at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress held in London.

In his speech, Al Ghaith said: “Throughout our three years of operations we have remained agile in our ability to capitalise on opportunities and we continue to challenge the conventions around low-cost travel.”

He attributed flydubai’s success to three key factors:
•    The commitment and clarity of vision from the UAE’s leaders that has led to the opening up of new opportunities for the airline
•    flydubai’s operational strategy to offer point-to-point, high-frequency flights and connectivity to other airlines, as well as a friendly and reliable service
•    The flexibility to exploit new opportunities in areas such as network expansion

The speech, entitled ‘Delivering Trade, Tourism and Transport: making a fast-growing airline happen’, also saw him highlight the airline’s intention to double its fleet over the next four years and focus route expansion on Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and the GCC.

Al Ghaith underscored the role that the Government of Dubai has played in creating the right environment to enable the aviation sector to flourish. Having long realised the industry’s potential to drive economic growth, the government has continued to invest heavily in world-class airlines and the associated tourism infrastructure. As a result, the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai’s GDP is expected to rise from the current $22 billion to $45.4 billion in 2020.

The launch of its cargo operations earlier this year also means that flydubai is now involved in all four key sectors of Dubai’s economic diversification; trade, tourism, transportation and logistics. These industries have driven growth and accounted for almost 60 per cent of the emirate’s GDP in 2011.

flydubai has now launched operations to more than 45 destinations in  29 countries and has the largest GCC network of all Middle Eastern carriers as well as the most comprehensive route map to Central and Eastern Europe, having opened up new markets that previously had no direct air links to the UAE.

“We launched our operations during an unprecedented period of global economic crisis, however, by having a clear vision and strong leadership, we have opened up new and previously untapped markets which our fleet of 24 737-800NG aircraft gives us access to,” said Al Ghaith.

Geographically, flydubai has prioritised Russia, the CIS and Central and Eastern Europe as its main expansion market, having introduced eight new routes in the region over the past 12 months. This focus has been instrumental in air traffic between the UAE and Russia increasing by 85 per cent; and the UAE and Ukraine increasing by 112 per cent.

“We knew that by carrying Dubai’s name we would challenge conventions around low-cost travel. flydubai, which embodies the spirit of Dubai’s entrepreneurism, was created to enable more people to have the opportunity to travel affordably by opening up new routes and allowing a greater number of people to have direct access to the UAE’s commercial and tourism opportunities and its global aviation hub,” said Al Ghaith.
 

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