By Andy Sambidge
Dubai budget carrier's CEO says delay to planned services due to 'operational issues'.
Dubai's new budget carrier on Friday announced that its planned launch of flights to India had been postponed.
Without giving specific reasons for the delay in services, CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “flydubai had planned to begin operations to India with flights to Lucknow on July 13, Coimbatore on July 14 and Chandigarh on July 23, however, due to operational issues, we have had to delay these flights. “We understand that this is very inconvenient for the passengers who have booked flights with us to India and we apologise for the disruption and disappointment caused. “All passengers who have booked flights to India will be contacted within the next few days and will be given a full refund, plus a voucher for a free return flight to India or anywhere on the flydubai network, which will be valid for travel until the end of November 2009. “India remains an important market for us and we will make an announcement in the very near future on when our flights to the region will begin.” flydubai last week denied talks with Indian aviation authorities over flights to Chandigarh Airport had hit a stalemate following reports in India that claimed that the airline had been denied permission by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to land in Chandigarh at night time.
No civilian planes are allowed to arrive at the hub, which is controlled by the IAF, after 10pm, newspapers added.
A spokesperson told Arabian Business last Sunday that talks with Indian authorities were ongoing, adding that the carrier did not anticipate any issues that cannot be resolved.
Since launching in June, flydubai has introduced flights to Beirut, Amman, Damascus and Alexandria and Aleppo.
It is also expected to launch services to Lucknow, Coimbatore, as well as Chandigarh, later this month.
The airline plans to operate between 14 and 16 destinations by the end of 2009.
This newborn budget carrier isn't just being economical with pricing, but it is clearly doing the same with the truth. The Indian media is the most free in connecting distance and they squarely called flydubai's problems.
India remains a highly competitive route to ignore to any of the regional players. The concern by Indian authorities is well understood considering the strategic issues involved and Indian media had not blamed Fly Dubai for the delays. The approvals and clearances really take quite lengthy process and delays are very common. Geriantâ€™s comments are like shooting in the dark. We look forward to Fly Dubai to start its flights at the earliest and definitely hope to all the issues are sorted in the interest of the huge expats in this part of the world.
Naveen's post is so "on message" and puffy, it could only come from a paid blogger. This web site is now full of them, and their amateur attempts at spin are not only amusing, but also play right into the hands of the truth.