Flydubai to double network this year

We will go to as many routes as we can and we will announce them when the criteria are met Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai. (EB FILE)

Dubai's low-cost carrier flydubai will add more destinations in the GCC this year besides doubling its network, according to its chief executive.

The 10-month-old airline, which on Sunday launched flights to Muscat, will launch its Dubai-Kuwait flight today and both sectors will service double-daily flights, said Ghaith Al Ghaith. He added that the carrier would grow its fleet from seven to 13 aircraft by the end of 2010.

Flydubai, which took possession of its seventh Boeing 737-800 two weeks ago, will see Muscat and Kuwait join Doha and Bahrain as the other GCC destinations in its services.

With the airline poised to take delivery of its eighth aircraft next month and five more later this year, more destinations in the GCC are imminent, said Al Ghaith. "We will go to as many routes as we can and we will announce them when all the criteria are met. But definitely expect more destinations within the GCC."

Asked if flights to the Indian Subcontinent were possible this year, Al Ghaith was non-committal. "There is nothing we can say at the moment. Of course, we will fly to India. It is in our four-and-half-a-hour radius. But when, where and how... only time will tell," he said.

Flydubai's existing routes include Beirut (Lebanon), Amman (Jordan), Damascus and Aleppo (Syria), Alexandria (Egypt), Djibouti (Africa), Doha (Qatar), Khartoum (Sudan), Baku (Azerbaijan), Bahrain and Kathmandu (Nepal).

A top-level delegation from Oman, headed by the Undersecretary for Civil Aviation Affairs Mohammed bin Sakhar Al Amri, received the inaugural Dubai-Muscat flight.

On board dignitaries included Mohammed Ahli, Director-General, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and flydubai's Chief Executive Ghaith Al Ghaith.

Speaking at the Muscat International airport, Ahli said: "Flydubai has enjoyed an excellent first 10 months, and this new route will only serve to strengthen the airline and the ties between the UAE and Oman."


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