Last week, Flydubai announced that it would be launching a business-class seats across its 60-strong network.
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.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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