Dubai's first budget carrier, which will take to the skies in a year's time with Emirates' assistance, has started to put together its act, with Peter Hill joining the team.
Hill, a former Emirates-appointed chief executive of Srilankan Airlines, who was ousted by the Sri Lankan Government in December last year following seats refusal to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, relocated to Emirates headquarters in Dubai in December itself.
"He is now assisting Emirates in the formation of the new low-cost carrier announced by the Dubai Government," Emirates President, Tim Clark, told Emirates Business.
The new budget carrier is currently going through early formation stages, according to Clark. "We will now be selecting the fleet, the brand, the identity and so on. We will be defining it over the next six weeks to two months," he said.
While the airline did not define Hill's exact role in the budget carrier, Ghaith Al-Ghaith, the appointed chief executive of the unnamed carrier, said: "Hill is working closely with me in putting together all the necessary functions and practices required to launch the new budget airline. We are still in the process of putting an entire team together."
Meanwhile, Emirates is close to finalising its aircraft for the budget carrier, according to Al Ghaith. "We should be able to decide something in less than two months time. It would be either an all-Airbus A320 fleet or an all-Boeing 737 fleet. We are not likely to go in for a mix fleet option," he told Emirates Business.
According to industry sources, the start-up order for the budget carrier could go up to 50 aircraft.