By Andy Sambidge
CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith says Russia is important market for Dubai low cost carrier
flydubai, Dubai's low-cost airline, has announced the launch of cargo operations in Russia as it seeks to grow its fledgling freighter business.
The airline said it will operates regular flights from four Russian cities - Kazan, Samara, Ufa and Yekaterinburg, to the UAE.
Goods will be shipped on its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the carrier said in a statement.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said: "Russia is an important market for Flydubai and the start of our cargo operations reinforces our commitment to providing a wider range of affordable services.
"We are confident that through enabling regional businesses to ship their goods directly to Dubai,and further afield, it will assist in developing new trade links between our countries and allowing a greater range of goods, including perishable items, to be transported."
flydubai Cargo started operations last January.
The airline has in place a number of interline agreements with other carriers including Emirates Airline, Singapore Airlines and British Airways to ship cargo beyond flydubai’s own network.
Last month, the carrier reported its first profit for 2012 and is planning to boost its growth this year by adding six new aircraft to its 50-strong fleet.
Total revenue at the Dubai-government owned carrier, set up in 2009, was AED2.778bn ($756m). Net profit for the year was AED151.9m.
The no frills airline carried 5.1m passengers in 2012. While passenger numbers across the GCC network rose 63 percent, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) saw a strong growth in traffic, rising 72 percent last year.
Among the nine new destinations launched in 2012 were Baghdad, Bucharest, Sana’a in Yemen and Taif in Saudi Arabia.
The company plans to boost its growth next year by adding six new aircraft to its fleet of 28 aircraft.