Dubai-based carrier Flydubai has carried over 70 million passengers since it began operations ten years ago today, the airline announced on Sunday.
The airline’s first flight – from Dubai to Beirut – took place on June 1, 2009.
To celebrate the milestone, a special flight arriving in Beirut at 12:20 local time on Sunday was met with a celebratory water cannon salute upon arrival from Dubai.
“For many years, the government of Dubai recognised the need for another carrier to serve our country. In 2009, we were able to achieve this,” airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement.
“Flydubai was launched with a mandate to open new markets and make travel more accessible to people,” Sheikh Ahmed added. “I am happy to see Flydubai deliver on that commitment.”
In the last decade, Flydubai has grown operations from six aircraft at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 2 in 2009 to over 1,700 flights per week, with flights to select destinations operating out of Terminal 3 and Dubai World Central.
"Flydubai’s commitment to making travel more convenient and more affordable has only grown stronger over the past 10 years," said Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith. "We realised early on that travel is about bridging the distance between people and we will continue to change the way people travel around the region."
The airline now has a network of over 90 destinations in 47 countries. More than 70 million passengers have used the airline since its inception.
“Flydubai has enabled its customers to reach places that weren’t accessible before,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst of UK-based StrategicAero Research.
“Its expansion into Eastern Europe, Russia and across Africa has proven a huge success and it stands to reason that the airline’s maturity has evolved to showcase its prowess as the hybrid airline of choice.”
Ahmed added that “the next ten years for Flydubai will be just as important as the previous.”
“Once the [Boeing] 737 Max is back in service later this year, Flydubai’s expansion strategy will really boom,” he said.
“With the city of Dubai remaining the true global nexus for travel, the airline is exceptionally well placed to expand like never before.”
Source: Arabian Business