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Would you fly Flydubai business class?

Flydubai’s move to introduce business class can only be a good thing, says Ed Attwood

Last week, Flydubai announced that it would be launching a business-class seats across its 60-strong network.

The plan is to roll out twelve business-class seats on every Boeing 737 delivered from August onwards, with the service being launched in October.

This isn’t the first time that a low-cost carrier has offered a more premium service, but it’s certainly a first for the Middle East.

What surprised me was the negative reaction in some of the comments below the line on the AB.com website. One reader called it a terrible move, while another commentator said the team behind Flydubai has no idea how to run a low-cost airline. Still another said it was pointless trying to compete with Emirates, Etihad and co.

I disagree. Flydubai doesn’t compete with Emirates – it offers a complementary service by offering some destinations that the larger airline doesn’t fly to, or different time slots. And if those routes aren’t served by a decent competitor, then of course there’s going to be demand for slightly more premium travel.

It also seems obvious to me that Flydubai isn’t doing this as a publicity stunt either; clearly its customers have requested the service, and the firm thinks it’s a potential moneyspinner. Let’s not forget that the budget airline hit profit in 2012 only three years after launch, which is rare in this industry.

I like Flydubai. It’s not too showy, the service is good and flights are usually on time. All that is good news, especially due to the fact that – let’s face it – not everyone can afford to fly Emirates these days.

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Posted by: Billy

Fly Dubai...please don't fix what isn't broken. The model you have now is great and a real blast of fresh air. Simple, efficient, friendly and cheap. T2 is a delight to use. Adding Business Class will change the whole dynamic of the airline. All FD flights are full now so surely that says what you have now is what people want.

Posted by: John

Many of the routes that flydubai fly, business class is not offered by any carrier. Also, on many of the routes that they fly they are the only reliable carrier. Many low cost airlines have tried the dual configuration and failed, however you have to look at the geographical operating environment, people have money in this part of the world and I have no doubt that passengers (especially those on business related/diplomatic) on the CIS/Russian routes, South Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan ect will have people lining up to take a business class seat. Good luck to them!

Posted by: Arabian Nomad

Why would anyone want to pay extra to continually depart and arrive late. Flydubai need to improve their current service before they introduce new ones.

Posted by: Matt Willis

Emirates pricing is now on a par with FDubai, I however dont use them as T2 is very convenient and quick to check in and out. Ref Business I hear it could be six rows, I personally travel a great deal to Doha on FD and often take the first seat for a 100 aed extra. I wont however be paying more for a leather seat and a hurried meal for the sake of 45 mins. On a longer haul yes perhaps. FD is not a low cost carrier like Easy Jet so the move in my opinion is justified. One last thing...FDubai for goodness sake close the check ins at the advertised time, Im sick of being delayed by people who cant get to the airport on time and just wander on 15mins into our intended flight departure!

Posted by: Sarah

I agree with sara, If FLYDUBAI is to continue to be a successful carrier, they need to address the key problems at T2. Many times I have had to fly out of Kuwait with FLYDUBAI, because of lack of good timings with Jazeera Airways, (a Kuwait based low-budget carrier) (NO FLIGHTS AFTER 6:30PM) and return on Jazeera back to Kuwait because of these problems. It is a successful model, but they need to evaluate the problems at the check-in areas in T2. I would love it if FLYDUBAI would move terminals, it is like flying into Sharjah!

Posted by: sara

I disagree, T2 has been a nightmare for me. I am always at the airport on time and have still only just made it onto the plane in time on one occasion- this was as a result of being taken out of the queue for the check in desk after queuing for half an hour (only 2 desks open for GCC flights) and advised to use the e-kiosk as I only had hand luggage. After 20 minutes of the machine not working they sent for a supervisor who informed me my flight was not eligible for the kiosk check in. I was sent to the back of the queue that was now even longer, and when I got to the front the staff were sending people ahead of me. In Kuwait they have a separate manned check in desk for passengers without luggage and checking in is a breeze. You would think that Dubai would be more capable of managing and organising their passengers for check-in.

Posted by: Peter

I agree with the comment about closure of the check-ins. People should be more disciplined and not inconvenient those people who arrived on time. FDubai adopt the same rule as Emirates close the check-ins on time and refuse entry onto the plane to those people who choose to turn up at the Gate late.

Posted by: david towland

doubt you ever flown flydubai. surely the editor of arabianbusiness goes on private jets only?

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