Flydubai, Dubai’s first low cost airline, has taken delivery of its fifth aircraft in five months.
The Boeing 737-800 is part of an order for 50 of the type that flydubai placed with the American manufacturer at the Farnborough Airshow in 2008 and is financed by a US$320 million sale-and-leaseback deal the airline recently signed with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
The new aircraft is immediately being put into service on flydubai’s first route between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, a schedule linking Dubai with Qatar’s capital Doha. The first service on the new route is on Sunday, October 18.
The 737-800 Next Generation aircraft comes from the Boeing 737 family, which is the most commercially successful jet airliner model ever designed. (More than 8,000 Boeing 737s of all models had been ordered by October 2009.) There are 1,250 Boeing 737s in the air at any moment in time, with one taking off every 4.6 seconds. Flydubai says the 737-800’s reliability, safety and fuel efficiency make the aircraft ideal for the airline, 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. Its other, existing routes are from Dubai to Beirut in Lebanon; Amman in Jordan; Damascus and Aleppo in Syria; Alexandria in Egypt and to Djibouti, the capital of the northeast-Africa country of the same name.
“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,” says Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai. “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.”
Adds Al Ghaith: “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 travelling 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.”
Flydubai’s Boeing 737-800s seat 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 737-800 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 10kg, per passenger.
Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just 40 UNited Arab Emirates dirhams (AED) (US$10.89) for the first piece and AED100 ($27.23) for the second, weighing up to 32kg, 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 payment of AED5 ($1.36) allows customers to select their seat and just AED50 ($13.62) secures an extra-legroom seat. 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 the modernized and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.
Established in March 2008 with start-up capital of AED250 million ($68 million), flydubai is Dubai’s first low cost airline. Owned by the government of Dubai, the airline was formed support the city’s commercial and tourism sectors by serving all travellers, providing them with affordable air links to a range of destinations.
With flydubai, travellers can take one piece of hand baggage (weighing up to 10 kg and no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm) on board without charge. If the bag does not meet the size requirements for cabin baggage, it is checked into the aircraft hold at a cost of AED150 ($40.85).
For more information or to book on flydubai, visit www.flydubai.com or call its call center at +971-4-301-0800.