By Rob Morris
Budget carrier's chief also says operations have been 'very silky' during first month.
Passenger demand for flydubai flights during its first month of operation has been “very good”, the carrier’s CEO has said.
Ghaith Al Ghaith also insisted Dubai’s low-cost carrier was operationally sound following its launch in early June.
“The response from the customer has been very good and the operation itself has been, touch wood, very silky. Many of the things we wanted to do we are doing very efficiently and we are very proud of what we have,” he told news service Ameinfo.
No passenger load figures were given for the airline’s services in June.
The airline introduced its first service on June 1 to Beirut before quickly adding Amman, Damascus, Alexandria and Aleppo to the route network.
This month, flydubai will start flights to Indian cities Coimbatore and Lucknow, with talks over services to Chandigarh between the airline and aviation authorities ongoing.
Reports in India on Sunday claimed the airline had been denied permission by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to land in Chandigarh at night time. They added no civilian planes can arrive at the hub, which is controlled by the IAF, after 10pm.
But flydubai dismissed the speculation, insisting it was working closely with authorities and did not foresee any problems.
While discussing flydubai’s plans to add three Indian cities to its network, Al Ghaith said: “Coimbatore, Lucknow and Chandigarh are very rich places of tourist-attracting history and many people in this region come from that part of the world and we will be very happy to serve.”
Providing the airline can resolve any issues over Chandigarh, flydubai will operate to eight destinations by the end of this month.
Al Ghaith confirmed the carrier is planning to have 14 services in operation by year end, but did not rule out the possibility of having fewer flights this year.
“14 is the right number, so on top of the eight there will be at least another four to announce,” he told Ameinfo.
I travelled with flydubai last month and it wasn't a smooth ride. Queueing outside terminal 2 in the hot sun for 20 min to get in the terminal is not anyone's idea of smooth operations. terminal 2 was above expectations but it is still understaffed and the there was a delay in the luggage offloading. Flight routing was very efficient though. overall experience needs serious improvement.
Standing for 20 minutes outside the terminal building and delays in baggage offloading is not the airline problem, this is the airport management problem. I do believe flydubai is a positive thing for people living in Dubai and regional tourists, thought it was a late move, as it was Air Arabia who leveraged on the strong gravity of Dubai as a regional tourist hub among other cities. Now instead of driving to SHJ International, as a resident of Dubai, i will drive to a closer airport and get the same air travel product offered by Air Arabia.
what would u expect when you have one handler handling all the Airport? 2nd thing is FlyDubai usually parked infront of the arrival building, and from there to baggage belt is like 5min walk, so u go to immigration then ur quickly in baggage belt. Handlers till they open cargos, and collect all luggage and drive to the belts and weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh they throw ur bag at the belt and starts rolling, long story. FlyDubai was meant to start at Jebal Ali for what i knew but due to the Airport still not done and they had an Operating date they go for Terminal 2, Terminal 1 you walk long route until u reach immigration. then Q in immigration, then when you reach to baggage belt in 5min your belt will move, so you will get it
Again a comment which is not relevant to the airline nor to the fact that Dubai International is handled by one ground handling company (like all other airports in UAE including Sharjah). Also the comment related to the distance between the check-in/baggage drop off to the aircraft stand is misleading. The baggage must go through a screening process to ensure aircraft safety and it will not be loaded until the passenger report at the boarding gate. You have to recognize that the terminal maybe equipped with an older screening technologies which is far slower than the baggage handling/screening mammoth they have in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. The message i will have as a customer and expert in aviation to flydubai is get on top of these issues with Dubai Airports Company to ensure a smooth delivery of the low cost airline product through Terminal 2.