Dubai to soar higher with new low-cost airline

DUBAI- A new low-cost airline will be launched in the UAE following an order issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The airline is being launched in response to the growing number of passengers travelling to and from the UAE, according to the official news agency WAM.

By Lucia Dore (Assistant Editor, Business)

Published: Tue 18 Mar 2008, 5:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:46 PM

The statement also said that the new airline would be pricing its services to passengers based on their 'economic and living conditions to suit their incomes'.

Emirates, the Arab world's largest carrier, will be running the new low-cost airline. In a prepared statement the airline's chairman and chief executive, Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: 'Emirates welcomes this announcement, and any new Dubai airline operation. Dubai's Open Skies policy encourages the growth of air transport, which has and continues to contribute to the development of this city. The new airline, a low cost carrier, will complement the international air services already provided by Emirates. As chairman and chief executive of Emirates and chairman of the new low-cost airline announced today (Tuesday), I can confirm that Emirates will extend its support to the new company.'

The new airline plans to lease or buy single-aisle aircraft and will begin operations within a year. It will also be flying to destinations between four to four and half hours away from Dubai, Shaikh Ahmed said, according to a Reuters report.

Other airlines operating in the region have responded positively to the decision to launch a new budget carrier. A spokesperson for the Sharjah-based low cost carrier, Air Arabia, bestowed congratulations on those who had made the decision, saying that the launch of the airline would complement Air Arabia's offering. 'The penetration of the budget sector is very low,' he said. 'There is a lot of room to grow.'

A spokesperson for Nasair, Saudi Arabia's budget airline, also saw the move as positive for the region's entire aviation industry. He said the emergence of cheaper airlines gives more opportunities for people to travel. 'Higher fares restrict travel', he said, adding that cheaper fares combined with more choice allows people to be more flexible and spontaneous with their travel arrangements. Even Singapore Airlines, one of the world's leading long-haul carriers, saw the decision as good for the industry because it would provide a 'feeder service from the region.'

For some, the decision to launch a budget airline could come as a surprise. Only last June, Shaikh Ahmed had dismissed rumours that Emirates had plans to launch a budget operation. Ghaith Saeed Al Ghaith has been named CEO of the new airline.

What difference will this new low-cost airline make to your life? Click Here

Readers' comments

Great news

As a frequent visitor of Dubai for vacation, my husband and me are very happy hearing these great news. We hope it will come true. Best regards. -Violeta Karpozilos, Athens

Welcome decision

The decision to launch an airline for the low-income group who can travel to their homeland at a low cost is a welcome decision of the Ruler of Dubai. People are hard pressed for money with the rate of every life sustaining commodity sky rocketing in the past two years and income almost keeping stagnant. -Dawoodi Morkas, Karachi

Affordable choice

Affordable choice to travel for essential needs and provides room to multiply economic growth through tourisim and commodity exchange. -Mohammad Sultan Qureshi, Milton

To other countries

It would be wonderful if this service includes flights to other countries as well. I am from South Africa and would like to visit my family more often. As my father is 89 years of age, I would like to see him twice a year. Also there are no flights from Abu Dhabi. -Eli, Abu Dhabi

To see our families

We will able to see our familly openly. -Belal, Dubai

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