Flydubai's Ghaith al Ghaith says it is 'too early' to gauge the success of the partnership between the two airlines
Flydubai and Emirates are likely to expand their codeshare deal to more destinations by the end of the year, according to flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.
Earlier in November, the two airlines announced that 16 new destinations - including those in Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Tanzania - were added to their shared network, which was initially comprised of 29 destinations, following the July announcement that flydubai was joining forces with Emirates.
“As we perfect those routes that we’ve launched, we will launch more routes together,” Ghaith told Arabian Business at the Dubai Airshow on Sunday. “I think we’ll try squeeze something [more] in by the end of the year.”
Ghaith added that “it is too early” to gauge the success of the a partnership between the two airlines, but said that he is confident it will be successful in the long-term.
“You will be able to gauge success after a while. But it is a natural thing that we’ve done, because we complement each other so much,” he said. “I’m sure it will be a big success.”
Flydubai is marking this year’s Dubai Airshow by showcasing the first of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, the first delivered out of 76 ordered at the Airshow in 2013. Six of the aircraft will be added to flydubai’s fleet by the end of 2017.
“This aircraft gives us a better economic situation, because there is approximately 15 percent better efficiency on this aircraft ... and this is of course very exciting for us,” he noted.
“The range is [also] a little bit improved, and means we can carry a little bit more. Economically, and financially, this should be very good for us.”
Additionally, Ghaith said that in “a few years”, flydubai - and all other airlines - will operate from Dubai’s Maktoum Airport, which he called “the new frontier for aviation in Dubai”.
Commenting on the announcement that Emirates has committed to the purchase of 40 787-10 Dreamliners from Boeing, Ghaith said that while in the aviation business “you can never say never”, he doesn’t believe currently believe that flydubai will ever require a similar order.
“With the way I see us growing and the space that I see the airlines covering, especially now that we are collaborating with Emirates, it creates so much opportunity that I don’t know if we will ever consider a wide-body aircraft that will cover the distance that the 787 will cover,” he said.
“If you’re looking for business potential, with this aircraft you do a lot, but combined with Emirates you can do even more,” he added.