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.