flydubai to add more routes from India

| Updated on: Oct 12, 2015
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Plans to operate from all international airports; improve connectivity to Russia

Domestic air carriers flying to the United Arab Emirates will have to face intense competition soon as Dubai-based flydubai is expanding its network in India.

The low-cost carrier, launched in the Indian market in 2010, plans to double its network by next year, keeping in mind the rapid growth in traffic between India and the UAE, especially to Dubai.

The carrier, which offers a two-way fare starting at ₹14,000 for economy class from Chennai and Mumbai, is already running three flights a week from eight destinations including Lucknow, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad.

The company plans to add 15 routes by 2016, which will include Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Srinagar and Jaipur, among others. With the launch of new points in India, flydubai expects an 80-per-cent growth in passenger numbers.

Bullish on India Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice-President (Commercial – UAE, EU, ME, CIS) for flydubai, told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the airline’s inaugural flight to the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk, “We are very bullish on the Indian market. There is already a great potential in terms of tourism between India and Dubai, but we are also witnessing a growth in business-related travel. We want to operate from all international airports in India by next year.”

The new flights will give Indian passengers access to several other GCC, African, Central Asia, Russia and European countries. Efendi added that Indian passengers can now travel cheap to Russia and other Siberian cities such as Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod from Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram, via Dubai. Recently, it was announced that India will open a consulate in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city, and will find a travel agency for cooperation as India looks to enter into business ties with this industrial town. A flydubai official said the carrier will provide cheaper options for Indians flying to Novosibirsk on business tours at below ₹25,000. At present, a return flight from Delhi to Novosibirsk starts at ₹30,000 with two stop-overs in between. “Flying via Dubai will also shorten the trip by six hours,” he added.

Present operations Currently, flydubai operates a total of 29 weekly flights between Dubai and India. The airline has offered two-way fares starting at ₹14,000 for economy class from Chennai, including 20 kg check-in baggage, while the return fare for business class on the same Chennai-Dubai-Chennai sector is pegged at ₹29,900, besides 40 kg check-in baggage.

flydubai operates a fleet of 36 brand new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and has built a network of 74 destinations, 48 of which were under-served markets like Gassim and Abha in Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Romania, South Sudan, as well as Kazan and Ufa in Russia.

The writer is in Novosibirsk at the invitation of flydubai

Published on January 22, 2018

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