Dubai flights: Flydubai to start operations in Jebel Ali in coming few years

The emirate has announced a plan to relocate the airport from Dubai International to Al Maktoum Airport in 10 years


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 6 May 2024, 4:10 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 May 2024, 11:11 PM

The upcoming Al Maktoum International Airport will give flydubai a bigger scope to grow, said Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai.

“We will start operations in Jebel Ali in the next couple of years. We need to grow in Dubai World Central. We will have two operations — in Jebel Ali and Dubai International Airport. We will eventually move to Al Maktoum International Airport because they will be closing down the Dubai airport. In this relocation, there will be plans for handover and we will be part of that plan,” he said.

Dubai has announced a plan to relocate the airport from Dubai International to Al Maktoum Airport in 10 years.

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While replying to a query about the impact of the record rains last month, he assured that there was no damage to the plane during the rain.

The UAE saw record rains in mid-April resulting in cancellations of flights due to flooding at the runway.

“We maintained safe operations. We managed the crisis by using our capacity as 24-hour operations cancellations allowed us to reach out to our customers and we offered one-third of people refunds and the rest two-third re-booked and travelled with us. From that point of view, it was not a big problem because people eventually travelled. So there was no impact on business flow. On the aircraft side, there was no damage,” the flydubai chief said during a media roundtable.

He ruled out any impact on the financials of the company from the rains.

Earlier, flydubai announced the launch of a retrofit project that will see a complete upgrade of the cabin interior for the majority of its next-generation Boeing fleet. The target is to complete the retrofit programme before the end of the year.

He added that operations were halted for a day and calibrated that it helped the airline overcome challenges.

He stated that the infrastructure of Dubai Airport is the best in class and there was no cause for concern.

The airline reached 5 million passengers in the first four months of this year and the flydubai chief expects full-year numbers to surpass 15 million, beating last year’s 13.8 million passenger numbers.

He added that bookings for summer are looking very strong and the airline plans to relaunch 10 destinations in summer.

He also ruled out establishing another base outside Dubai. “(We are) Dubai-centric and there is more potential to grow from Dubai. I don’t see us moving to another hub because we can grow to 200 aircraft easily… India represents 1.5 per cent of our capacity and 20 per cent of our staff is from India. If we have 20 per cent more India capacity, you can imagine how big we are going to grow.”


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