Dubai launches new LCC; flydubai competes with Emirates on three of four routes

Image: Route launch
New LCC flydubai launched its first two routes this week – to Amman (pictured) and Beirut. Both destinations are served daily using 737-800s.

Logo: FlyDubaiLast July flydubai, the new low-cost carrier formed by the government of Dubai with the assistance of Emirates, announced an order for 54 189-seat 737-800s. Now, almost a year later, the new airline finally takes off with its first two routes from Dubai to Amman and Beirut. Although the airline is not part of the Emirates group, some of the key management staff are from the airline and three of the four routes announced so far compete directly with Emirates.

Destination WF Start date Competition (WF)
Beirut (BEY) 7 1 Jun 09 Emirates (19), Malaysia AL (3), Middle East AL (14), Oman Air (4)
Amman (AMM) 7 2 Jun 09 Emirates (12), Royal Jordanian (18)
Damascus (DAM) 7 8 Jun 09 Emirates (11), Syrian Arab AL (4)
Alexandria (ALY) 7 9 Jun 09 Alexandria AL (2), Egyptair (4)
Source: flydubai and OAG Max for w/c 1 June 2009
WF: Weekly frequency

Fleet of four aircraft needed by 20 July

Based on analysis of the airline’s published flight schedules the first two routes are each flown by a separate aircraft. When the Alexandria and Damascus routes start next week these will operate in the evening and into the early hours of the following morning.

Aircraft # Rotation 1 Rotation 2
Aircraft 1 10:30 – 18:10 BEY 19:10 – 02:25 DAM (from 8 Jun to 5 Jul)
Aircraft 2 10:25 – 17:45 AMM 19:45 – 03:25 ALY (from 9 Jun to 19 Jul)
Source: flydubai booking tool

From 6 July the Damascus flight is brought forward to depart Dubai at 16:40 and arrive back at 23:55, which will require a third aircraft. From 20 July the Alexandria service is brought forward and will depart Dubai at 11:10 and arrive back in Dubai at 19:50. This will require a fourth aircraft.

The airline states on its website that its network will expand to include other cities in the Middle East, GCC, India and eventually Eastern Europe, North and East Africa and even Iran.


  1. James Pearson says:

    It will be interesting to see what the consequence will be on well-established, profitable, SHJ-based G9 of FZ’s operation. At an industry conference last year, I asked G9’s Business Development Manager how many people connect with G9, and he said less than 10% (and that he’d like to cut that to zero). So, the vast majority simply fly to/from SHJ, 17km or so from downtown Dubai. I wonder how many of G9’s passengers use it to go to/from Dubai.

    As you stated, FZ will fly 7x weekly from DXB to ALY, AMM, BEY, and DAM. Here are G9’s frequencies from SHJ to those 4 based on July: ALY 18x weekly; AMM 11x weekly; BEY 10x weekly; and 11x weekly DAM.

  2. Hani says:

    I wounder how FZ will be able to keep fares down and compete with other region LCC’s despite operating from the expensive DXB hub.

    G9 was the first LCC in the gulf if I’m not mistaken and is well established with many of it’s customers reaching SHJ as thier final destination (weather visiting Sharjah or Dubai) –

    and maybe being able to deliver thier passengers directly to DXB is thier selling point.

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