flydubai launched flights to Kozhikode in India on 1 February, with the airline holding a press conference after the inaugural flight had been performed. A gift giving exchange took place, with proceedings being carried out by Mohammed Shahid, Joint GM, Air Traffic Management, Kozhikode Airport, and Sudhir Sreedharan, SVP Commercial Operations, flydubai. The carrier will operate the 2,675-kilometre route three times weekly using its fleet of 737-800s.
- flydubai launched flights between Dubai (DXB) and Kozhikode (CCJ) in India on 1 February. The airline becomes the first Dubai-based operator to fly the 2,675-kilometre sector, however it will face direct competition from Air India Express (13 times weekly), Air India (daily), IndiGo (daily) and SpiceJet (daily) on the route. flydubai, which codeshares with Emirates, will operate a three times weekly service between the two airports using its fleet of 737-800s. “As the first Dubai-based carrier to operate direct flights from Dubai to Kozhikode, we expect this route to be very popular for travellers from the UAE to the region. Similarly, passengers from Kozhikode now have easier access to popular destinations on the flydubai network as well as the Emirates network, providing easy access to more destinations when visiting family and friends,” commented Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, on the new route. Regarding existing services from other Middle Eastern hubs , Qatar Airways operates a daily service to Kozhikode from Doha, while Etihad Airways flies from Abu Dhabi to the Indian city twice-daily. While both of the latter routes are flown by other airlines too, flydubai and Emirates will be looking to attract connecting passengers to Europe and beyond, with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways being the leading competition providers in this sector. Based on OAG Traffic Analyser data, Qatar Airways’ top connection points for Kozhikode-originating passengers between October 2017 and September 2018 were Kuwait City, New York JFK, Dublin, Moscow Domodedovo, London Heathrow and Birmingham. For Etihad Airways, its top destinations for those travelling from Kozhikode within the same period were Jeddah, Riyadh, Bahrain, Kuwait City, Damman and London Heathrow. These destinations should also prove popular with those booking with flydubai and Emirates from Kozhikode.