Flydubai ahead in style

After many years I finally got to see, thanks to a flydubai press conference, a small part of Lebanon. The media gathering of nearly 60 journalists specially flown in from the various destinations of the airline, had a brief stay in Beirut, home to nearly two million people and considered to be the most Westernised city in the Middle East.

By Moni Mathews

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Published: Fri 31 Dec 2010, 9:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:05 AM

As we reported in Khaleej Times’ Business Section on December 14, flydubai announced the Sky Interiors and inflight entertainment systems which are installed on their new Boeing 737-800s, in the Lebanese capital, the launch destination of the airline.

Flydubai’s three newly acquired B-737-800s, experts in the aviation industry say, are next generation not only as far as the hardware is concerned but also for its styling and design of the interiors and inflight entertainment.

The airline is the first budget carrier in the region to install one of the best inflight entertainment systems in the world and along with the Sky Interior 737-800 from Boeing, will be hard to beat in the budget category for some time.

Among the top executives on hand at the press conference in Beirut were flydubai chief executive officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith; Capt. Kenneth Gile, chief operating officer, flydubai; Kent D Craver, regional director, passenger satisfaction & revenue marketing; and J Douglas Cline, chief executive officer, Lumexis.

Al Ghaith, Craver and Cline spoke to the media at the Raouche Arjaan by Rotana apartments in Chouran, about the airline’s present tie-ups for its fleet, interiors and entertainment systems.

“Our job is to keep providing quality and make room for improvement on a continuous basis. The new equipment will not come in our way on the budgetary side as we kept this in mind before going in for the products. This way we are able to be cost effective as well as in a position to express ourselves, and the equation is quite clear,” Al Ghaith said.

Flydubai was one of the seven launch customers that opted for the package that is available to its passengers today on some of its newly delivered B-737-800s. Of the seven customers, flydubai were the first to take delivery in November with the cabin options that will be installed for the whole fleet by the end of 2011.

“People have a better experience and we know for sure flydubai will be finding it to their advantage. It’s been a complex and collaborative process. The sidewalls, utility units, the overhead consoles, the cabin luggage space, the lid opening mechanisms and the choices of fade out overhead lighting plus a lot more top of rate features make the concept of the interiors we see today as something for the future,” Craver said.

The spacious overhead lockers can easily accommodate upto 10kg of hand baggage. “The extra leg and elbow space, and the clearance levels when a passenger stands up to remove cabin baggage from the overhead bins were features once thought difficult to incorporate in a full density 189-passenger type configuration that we have opted for,” Capt. Gile said while talking to mediapersons when flying into Beirut a day before the press conference.

The airline offers a high definition entertainment screen in front of you (rear of the front seat head rest) which, not to exaggerate, is very user friendly.

The flow process of accessing information, the instructions for inflight entertainment and the pause/stop-resume procedures with the mention of the flying time available for the movie at a given point of time, the orders for food and beverages, flight details and a host of other features, make time spent aboard a great experience.

“Making things reliable, simple and cost effective are our priorities and this is why we have the leading edge as far as inflight entertainment is concerned. Even the bigger long haul operators with high reputation has taken notice of the innovative steps and improvements we have been able to provide the passengers,” said Cline.

“The weight factor was a bigger challenge for we had to accommodate so many new features to the existing packages available in the industry and we have been able to keep the per seat weight factor down to 6.4kg.

The system with the high definition screens for the competitive rates and the prices we offer, puts us in the bracket of high quality providers whatever the budget might be,” Cline added.

“The industry will be watching flydubai use one of the most flexible inflight systems in the world which for the budget airline comes in at ‘half the cost’ in relative terms of what the regular airlines have paid for their current installations. The one on flydubai is a first of its kind where flexibility and feedback methods for changes and alterations come quite easily,” Cline said.

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