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06 December 2023

Dubai budget airline to take to the skies in a year

By Agencies

A new low-cost carrier set up by the government of the booming Gulf emirate of Dubai will launch within a year, the airline's new head said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.


"We expect to start the airline within a year's time," AFP quoted the airline's chief executive, Gaith al-Gaith as saying.


"We will soon start talking to aircraft suppliers for deployment of aircraft. For leasing, all options are open and we will be talking to potential partners," he added.


The as yet unnamed airline will use either Airbus A320/A321s or Boeing B737 single-aisle aircraft for its fleet and will initially operate regional services.


The airline was officially announced on Tuesday and joins a growing list of low-cost carriers sprouting-up in the oil-rich Gulf. More than 100 airlines now operate from Dubai to 160 international destinations.


Sharjah-based airline Air Arabia forecasts carrying 4.5 million passengers by 2010, compared to the 1.6 million it carried in 2006.


Dubai's budget airline will be based at the emirate's new Al-Maktoum International Airport, which aims to be the world's biggest airport when construction work is completed.


The airport is due to open at the end of the year and will ultimately have six runways and handle more than 120 million passengers annually.


Dubai's other government-owned airline, Emirates, will initially help the new budget carrier get started.


"It will be a new company owned by the Dubai government, separate from the Emirates Group. However, Emirates will help set-up the airline," Gaith said. (AFP)