flydubai serves over 70 destinations in first five years
While Emirates is the main driver of the amazing growth at Dubai Airport that has resulted in the airport recently overtaking London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international services, the role of flydubai should not be overlooked. The LCC only started operating on 1 June 2009 the first route was to Beirut), and so recently celebrated its fifth birthday. In that time it has grown from just two 737-800s, to a fleet of over 30, with a route network stretching across 70 destinations in 34 countries this summer. Most recently the airline has launched three new routes to India (Delhi, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram), despite having had to cut its operations at Dubai Airport while runway maintenance work takes place.
Saudi Arabia is still biggest country market but gap is closing
A comparison of schedule data for August 2014 (after the runway work is completed) and August 2013 shows that most of the leading country markets are stable or growing, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, the airline’s leading market. As a result the number of monthly flights is actually down just over 1% compared with last August.
Although flydubai continues to offer non-stop flights from Dubai to 11 destinations in Saudi Arabia (Hofuf was the most recent, added in February), the reduction in Riyadh flights from five per day to just one per day, is the most extreme example of the airline cutting weekly flights on six of its 11 Saudi destinations. While India has seen its flydubai flights more than double, destinations in the Russian Federation have also seen significant growth, with Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd having all been started in the last year.
Moscow and Kazakhstan coming soon
In the next few months the airline plans to start new services to Aden (Yemen), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Kandahar (Afghanistan), Moscow Vnukovo (Russia) and Shymkent (Kazakhstan). Kandahar flights are expected to begin in July, followed by Aden flights in August, and Moscow flights in September.