By Gavin Davids
Gassim route is the second inaugural flight within the week for Dubai low cost carrier
Low cost Dubai airline, flydubai, launched its second inaugural flight in two days with the launch of operations to the Saudi Arabian city of Gassim.
Following the start of services to Abha and Yanbu, the Gassim route marks flydubai’s third Saudi Arabian destination and its 31st overall.
“Saudi Arabia is a key market, and for flydubai to be able to offer direct, low cost flights to three separate cities in the Kingdom is a significant development for the airline and for passengers wishing to travel to the region,” Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said in a statement.
Located in central Saudi Arabia, Gassim is known as the kingdom’s agricultural centre and hosts an annual ‘date season’ celebration, which draws thousands of visitors from all across the GCC states.
On Monday, flydubai’s Chittagong service also touched down on its inaugural flight, marking the first step into the Bangladeshi market. The Chittagong service is to be followed by direct flights to Dhaka, beginning in mid February.
In November, the airline signed sale and leaseback deals with Dublin based aircraft leading company, Avalon, for four Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft in a deal valued at $320m. In 2010, the low cost carrier signed a total of $1bn deals to finance new aircraft as it looked to compete with major rivals like Air Arabia and Jazeera Airways.