flydubai marks 12-month milestone

Guest Writer

flydubai has celebrated its first birthday having taken almost one million passenger bookings and carrying more than three quarters of a million passengers to date.The low-cost carrier’s first flight took off to Beirut on 1 June, 2009 and just 12 months later the airline has built a network of 21 destinations, 16 of which are operational, with five to follow later this month. This makes flydubai possibly the fastest growing start-up airline ever.In the coming months, the budget carrier is expecting to receive a further five aircraft and will fly to more than 25 destinations by the end of this year.Since the start of operations to Beirut and Amman in June 2009, traffic on the Dubai-Beirut route has increased by 33% and Dubai-Amman has grown by a staggering 40%.flydubai has made other changes to the market by giving people the option to purchase checked baggage, seats and meals. These options have been very popular, with 83% of passengers purchasing an item of food or drink, 30% of passengers paying to select their seat and 56% paying for checked baggage. But 44% of people travelled with only hand luggage, which means they were able to benefit from flydubai’s lowest fares. These figures indicate how well this different way of travelling has been accepted in the Middle East market.In the first year flydubai operated almost 8,000 flights and of those 85% departed on time. In May alone there were more than 1,000 flights and 92% of them departed on time, which are very impressive numbers and show that even though flydubai is getting bigger the airline’s performance is getting better.flydubai’s fleet of eight brand new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft are being worked hard to ensure they are kept in the air as much as possible. The year-end average aircraft utilisation is expected to be around 14-and-a-half hours. This would make flydubai the industry leader for an airline operating a 737-800 and is one of the ways the airline ensures low fares for its customers.flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved this year. We have a taken a theory and turned it into a reality and that reality is a product that people really like. “We have big plans for the future and we hope to continue to be as successful as we have been in our first year.”

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