By Neeraj Gangal
Dubai's first low cost airline expands its route network to the edge of Europe.
flydubai, Dubai's first low cost airline, has expanded its route network to the edge of Europe with the start of flights to the ancient capital of Turkey.
According to newswire WAM, Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai's CEO, said: "Having a strong network is very important to the success of flydubai and we are delighted to be able to count Istanbul, the gateway to Europe, as our 18th destination.
"Istanbul is one of the most popular destinations for UAE residents seeking a short break. With a wealth of historical sites and shopping options there is much to delight and occupy visitors. This year Istanbul is the European Capital of Culture so when you put that together with flydubai's simple, uncomplicated, low fares, there has never been a better time to visit this ancient city."
"We would like to thank the Turkish authorities for their support in making this happen and look forward to continuing to work in partnership with them for the benefit of both our economies and the people travelling between our nations," Al Ghaith added.
Home to nearly 13 million people, Istanbul's location makes it a melting pot of cultures which has seen centuries of influence from both the East and West. Its strategic importance ensured it was the jewel in the crown of the Byzantine Empire before becoming the heart of the Ottoman Empire, according to WAM.
flydubai's new service to Istanbul will strengthen the growing trade relationship between Turkey and the UAE, valued at around $9 billion per annum, it added.
Flights to Istanbul are available from AED450 one-way including all taxes and one piece of hand luggage. Operating five times a week, FZ751 leaves Dubai at 1855hrs and lands in Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 2250hrs local time. The return flight, FZ752, departs at 2335hrs arriving in Dubai at 0500hrs local time.
The flydubai model is simple, with customers paying only for the services they want to receive. The ticket price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10kg, per passenger.
Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just AED60 for the first piece and AED150 for the second, weighing up to 32kgs, subject to availability. Checked baggage at the airport is also strictly subject to availability and passengers are advised to book online early to secure the space, as only pre-purchased baggage can be guaranteed.