By Andy Sambidge
Budget airline's CEO also says he is still committed to plans to launch flights to India.
Dubai's new low-cost airline has said it plans to expand its business by offering holiday packages, insurance and other ancillary travel services in a bid to strengthen its revenues.
"We certainly realise the potential of the ancillary revenues and hope to extend into that market by providing holiday packages, insurance and other services," flydubai's CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said in comments published by Emirates Business on Wednesday.
He also told the paper that the airline had no immediate plans of extending the current fleet of aircraft, adding that a sixth plane was due to be delivered next month.
Al Ghaith said the budget carrier was still committed to its India plans which were postponed earlier this year but he added that it was too early to say when they might be launched.
In July, the carrier was forced to postpone all three of its routes to Lucknow, Coimbatore and Chandigarh due to operational issues.
"We have always reaffirmed that India is an important sector for flydubai and we maintain that. And why just India? The subcontinent itself is an important market for us and we shall announce our strategy for the region in time," Al Ghaith told the paper.
The airline chief also welcomed the increased competition among low-cost carriers in the Middle East.
"We are not going to comment negatively on other airlines coming to this country; all I can say is, the more, the merrier," said Al Ghaith.
"Demand for low cost carriers in this region remains at five percent, unlike Europe, which stands at approximately 20 per cent.
"As a market, we still have to reach that maturity, and I do believe there is enough demand in the UAE and this region for another airline to enter the foray."
Earlier at the Dubai Airshow, the budget carrier announced two financing deals worth $160 million, which covered the first two aircraft flydubai received in May.
flydubai also signed a $22m contract with US-based Goodrich Corporation to obtain wheels and carbon brakes for its fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft.
I flew from Doha to Dubai return last weekend on FlyDubai and it was great! Check-in was smooth, flight was on schedule, and staff was friendly. The best part was the price: 505QAR return vs 1400QAR return to fly with Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways taxes alone cost almost as much as the whole FlyDubai Ticket. I don't understand how Qatar Airways can justify 1400QAR for a 45 minute flight!
Low cost airlines like airarabia have been offering such low fares on the route from last 4-5 years. its great for the passengers that with new competetion the fares may go even lower!
I flew Doha-Dubai sector on 17th November and returned to Doha on 18th evening. Atlhough the outbound flight experienced a delay for some time but the reaons for the delay were understood. I really enjoyed both flights , the cabin crew especially on the return flight was very hospitable and nice. The cabin was very clean and both flights were very smooth. I enjoyed both flights. I wish Fly Dubai success .