By Andy Sambidge
Dubai's low-cost carrier also announces additional services to Ukraine
Flydubai, Dubai's budget airline, on Wednesday said it will double its network in Russia and add additional services in Ukraine.
In Russia, the carrier will launch flights to Mineralnye Vody on April 16 followed by Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd on September 13.
The carrier also said operations to Krasnodar will commence a week later on September 20.
It added in a statement that the route map in Ukraine will also expand to include the only direct services from Dubai to the Black Sea resort of Odessa as well as Dnepropetrovsk in the east of the country.
Flights to Odessa will begin on September 15, the same day the carrier adds capacity to the capital, Kiev, to which it will fly double daily. Services to Dnepropetrovsk will begin on September 18.
These additional operations bring flydubai's network to 18 points in the CIS region - more than any other Middle East carrier, the statement added.
Flydubai's CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: "Russia and Ukraine are two of flydubai's key markets. We have seen steady passenger growth over the past couple of years in both countries.
"Our strategy of targeting regional airports has been a significant factor in our growth in the region and with the announcements of these six new routes today, a greater number of people will be able to visit the UAE and beyond with our affordable direct flights."
Flydubai, which has already announced six new routes this year prior to the CIS expansion, started flights to Russia in October 2010.
In 2012, the airline carried 73 percent more passengers than the previous 12 months on its existing routes to Kazan, Samara Ufa and Yekaterinburg while in the 18 months flydubai has operated flights to Ukraine, the airline's passengers have increased 348 percent.