Dubai low-cost carrier to operate from Jebel Ali

Airline already in talks with manufacturers Boeing and Airbus to buy planes, CEO says.
By Amy Glass and Dylan Bowman
Wed 19 Mar 2008 05:32 PM

Dubai’s new budget airline will begin operations from the new Al Maktoum International Airport within a year and is already in talks to buy planes, the carrier's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Ghaith Al Ghaith said airline's operations would be based in the low-cost terminal of the airport in Jebel Ali.

Al Ghaith also said the airline, yet to be named, was in talks with Airbus and Boeing about buying aircraft and may make an order soon.

"We are in conversation with the main manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus," Ghaith said, quoted newswire Reuters.

The carrier wants "as many aircraft as we can possibly operate, as soon as possible... we want to start with a bang."

Ghaith could not give any indication of the airline's capital requirements or fare structures, but said money was of not an issue since the Dubai government would back the capital requirements of the airline.

The chief executive clarified that the airline would be a new company separate from the Emirates Group, but Emirates would help establish the airline, quoted UAE daily Gulf News.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, issued a decree to set of the airline on Tuesday, stating that the carrier should price its services based on "the economic and living conditions to suit their incomes".

The carrier will fly to destinations within four and a half hours of the emirate, according to Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.

Sheikh Ahmed said the fleet would be equipped either with Boeing 737 aircraft or Airbus A320s.

The new carrier will be the sixth in the region that is low-cost and will compete with Sharjah-based Air Arabia, the Middle East's largest low cost airline.

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