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7JetSet7 Code: FDB
Status: Operational
Employees 197
Web: flydubai.com
Email: ken.gile@flydubai.com
Telephone: +971 47085571
Fax: +971 42864129

Click below for data links:
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Established in 2008 and will start operations in 2009. Domestic, regional, & international, scheduled & charter, low cost carrier (LCC) operating passenger & cargo jet airplane services.

P O Box 353
Dubai City
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)


Dubai can either refer to one of the seven Emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, or that Emirate's main city, sometimes called "Dubai city" to distinguish it from the Emirate. The modern Emirate of Dubai was created with the formation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1971. However, written accounts documenting the existence of the city have existed at least 150 years prior to the formation of the (UAE). Dubai shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates within a federal framework, although each Emirate has jurisdiction over some functions such as civic law enforcement and provision and upkeep of local facilities. Dubai has the largest population and is the second largest Emirate by area, after Abu Dhabi. As of 2007, 800 new residents were setting up home in Dubai every day. With Abu Dhabi, it is one of only two Emirates to possess veto power over critical matters of national importance in the (UAE). Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833. The city's current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the (UAE).

Revenues from petroleum and natural gas contribute to less than <3% of Dubai's US$ 46 billion economy (2006). A majority of the Emirate's revenues are from the Jebel Ali free zone (JAFZ) and, increasingly, from tourism and other service businesses. Dubai has attracted world-wide attention through innovative real estate projects and sports events. However, this increased attention, coinciding with its emergence as a world business hub, has also highlighted human rights issues concerning its largely foreign workforce.

Dubai is the fastest growing city and tourism destination in the World. In the past two decades, Dubai has emerged as a regional business hub and trade destination with a massive geographical reach from West Africa across the entire Middle East and through to Central Asia. Dubai is the place to do business in the region. The city itself boasts population growth estimated at more than >30,000 new residents a month and this has contributed to hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure and property development. The city is a fascinating place where the modern and traditional stand side by side. Dubai offers some of the worlds best shopping, golf courses, beaches, fantastic hotels and bustling souks, all combining to make this one of the world's most exciting cities.

Visa Regulations:
Nationals of the following countries will be issued, free of charge, with an entry visa valid for 60 days at the passport control:
Citizens of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC) member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Saudi Arabia (AGCC) expatriate residents who meet certain conditions.

National citizens of the following countries:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (except the British overseas citizens), United States, Vatican City

It should be noted that this list may vary slightly from time to time and it is therefore best to check with your local (UAE) embassy or the airline you are using to fly to the (UAE).

Other nationalities are solely responsible for obtaining visas for themselves, their representatives and invitees. Visas can be arranged through the exhibitor's hotel, in Dubai provided sufficient time is given for the application to be processed.

The Organizers are not in a position to sponsor visa applications.

The visit visa does not entitle the visitor to take up permanent work in the (UAE).

At the time of going to press the (UAE) do not grant visas to Israeli Nationals or to holders of passports containing a visa, valid or expired, for Israel. Exhibitors should check with their Travel Agent.

All Visitors and Exhibitors require a full passport for their visit.

Health Requirements:
No health certificates are required for entry to the Emirates, except for visitors who have been in cholera or yellow fever infected area. However, it is always wise to check health requirements before departure as restrictions may vary.

Personal effects entering Dubai are not liable to a customs levy. It is forbidden to import drugs and pornographic items.

The importation of alcohol into the (UAE) is only permitted as part of the duty free allowance for personal consumption.

Four items of alcohol per person is the permitted allowance.

Local Information:
To make the most of your time in Dubai, it's worth knowing a little about the locality. The following gives you some useful information about the language, climate, local time and public holidays.

The official language of the country is Arabic, although English is the official business language. English is widely used and most road and shop signs, restaurant menus, etc., are in both languages.

Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate. May - October are the warmest months with temperatures reaching the high 40's and high humidity, the rest of the year, temperatures fall anywhere between the mid 20's - 30's. Rainfall is infrequent, falling mainly in the cooler months around November to March.

Local Time:
The (UAE) is four hours ahead of (GMT). There is no summer time saving when clocks are altered.

Public Holidays:
The Islamic year is called the Hijri and dates are followed by AH - After Hijra. The Hijri calendar is based on lunar months. There are 354 or 355 days in the Hijri year, which is divided into 12 lunar months and each year is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year.

As some holidays are based on the sighting of the moon and not fixed dates on the Hijri calendar, the dates of Islamic holidays are imprecise, with holidays frequently being confirmed less than 24 hours in advance. Some non-religious holidays are fixed according to the Gregorian calendar.

Local Culture:
If you're spending time in Dubai, it helps to know some basics about the local culture. Here are some handy tips with regard to business and social hours and the all-important etiquette for tipping and photography.

Local Culture:
Dubai's culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. However, Dubai is very tolerant of the customs of its visitors and is relatively liberal when it comes to European dress codes and serving alcohol in hotels. Among the most highly prized virtues are courtesy and hospitality, visitors are sure to be charmed by the genuine warmth and friendliness of the people.

Islam is the official religion of the (UAE), but other religions are respected. Dubai has a variety of Christian churches.

Business Hours & Social Hours:
Social hours are very Mediterranean in style: - in general, people get up early, often have an afternoon siesta and eat late in the evening. Government offices are open from 07:30 to 14:00 hrs Saturday to Wednesday. In the private sector, office hours vary between split shift days or straight shifts.

Although the small shops opening hours are usually based on split shift timings, the big shopping malls now remain open all day from 10:00 - 21:00 hrs. Petrol stations are open 24 hours. Embassies and consulates open from 08:00 - 13:30 hrs. Most close on Thursday and Friday.

Tipping practices are similar to most parts of the world. An increasing number of restaurants include service.

Normal tourist photography is acceptable; it is courteous to ask permission before photographing people, especially local women. In general, photographs of government buildings, military installations, ports and airports should not be taken.

Things to See & Do:

There's plenty to do in Dubai and it helps to know what's on and where.

The shopping Capital of the Middle East!

Prices are competitive in many products from gold to carpets, textiles or designer labels. The key to shopping here is to bargain where possible since prices, especially in the souks, can drop quite substantially. The attractive and often imaginatively designed, modern shopping malls in Dubai are one of the highlights of shopping in Dubai and are generally spacious and fully air conditioned. Most international brands and high street shops can be found in the shopping malls.

Most malls have a food court, which offers a variety of types of cuisine. Some malls also have cinemas.

There are many companies in Dubai offering an exciting variety of city and safari tours. An organized tour can be a great way to discover the (UAE). Tours range from a half-day city tour to an overnight safari visiting the desert or mountains and camping in tents. Dubai's souks are worth a visit for their bustling atmosphere, the eclectic variety of goods and the traditional way of doing business.

Tours & Sightseeing:
There are many companies in Dubai offering an exciting variety of city and safari tours. An organized tour can be a great way to discover the (UAE). Tours range from a half-day city tour to an overnight safari visiting the desert or mountains and camping in tents. Most trips require a minimum of four people for the tour to run. It is advisable to book three or four days in advance although in some cases less notice is not a problem.

For more information contact the Recommended Travel Agents.

There are numerous activities available to visitors to Dubai including water sports and golf packages.

For more information contact the Recommended Travel Agents.

Dubai has numerous cinemas, cafes, bars, nightclubs and discos to suit all tastes and ages. There are a number of local magazines available from the Newsagents listing details of the above facilities.

July 2008: FlyDubai (FDB), a start-up Low Cost Carrier (LCC) owned by the Dubai government, that plans to launch service in mid-2009, placed a firm order for 50 737-800s valued at $3.74 billion. (FDB) also will lease four 737-800s from Babcock & Brown (BBB). First delivery is scheduled for May 2009 and final delivery for 2015. CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, formerly Emirates (EAD) Executive VP Commercial Operations Worldwide, said the carrier plans to operate an all-economy (Y) 737-800 fleet with each airplane configured for 189Y seats, though it does have the right to convert some of the 737-800s to 737-900ERs. While not announcing a network, he told reporters at the Farnborough Airshow that (FDB) will serve "a four-and-a-half-hour radius from Dubai." It will operate out of the new Al Maktoum International at Jebel Ali. "The [first] runway is finished now and we expect [the airport] will be in operation by the middle of next year," Al Ghaith said, noting that FlyDubai (FDB) would be the first passenger carrier to operate there, following cargo flights slated to begin in the 2009 second quarter.

The carrier will have a "pure low-cost model," according to a fact sheet distributed to reporters. "Passengers will be given the option to pay for additional services such as food, checked and excess baggage, and ticket flexibility."

A FlyDubai (FDB) spokesperson said that "Emirates (EAD) is helping (FDB) get started, but there will be a split before the launch . . . [and] operations will be entirely separate from Emirates (EAD)." (EAD) Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum will serve as Chairman of both carriers. He predicted that the new airline's fleet will be "much larger" than the 54 737-800s by 2015. "Traffic in the Middle East will remain very strong," he said, adding that there will be "enough traffic for all" of the area's growing group of (LCC)s.

Al Ghaith said, "Of course fuel price is an immediate concern for all of the airlines, but we are looking . . . long-term, and we believe there will be adequate demand."

(CFM) valued the engine order for the 737-800s at nearly $700 million at list prices.

August 2008: FlyDubai (FDB) appointed Kenneth Gile, Chief Operating Officer (COO). He joins the carrier from Skybus Airlines (SKS), where he was President & COO for four years.

September 2008: FlyDubai (FDB) is recruiting 737 Pilots in Command (PIC) (FC)s. Flight Crew (FC) candidates can apply by sending an email to: pilotapplications@flydubai.com. Additional details are available on its Web site: http://www.flydubai.com.

October 2008: FlyDubai will fly from the new Jebel Ali airport, which is farther from Sharjah than the existing airport.

March 2009: FlyDubai (FDB) said it will operate out of Dubai International's Terminal 2 when it launches flight operations later this year. Initial destinations will be within 4.5 hours flying time and will be announced "shortly," the state-owned low-cost start-up said.

(FDB) said it has hired 61 captains (FC), 18 first officers (FC) and 80 cabin crew (CA) in preparation for its upcoming launch. (FDB) said it received 11,500 applications.

May 2009: FlyDubai (FDB) announced daily flights from Dubai to Damascus starting June 8 and daily, Dubai - Alexandria service from June 9. CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith said in a statement that additional routes will be launched in quick succession and several announcements have been planned for the coming weeks. All destinations will be within 4.5 hours flying time of Dubai.

(FDB) took delivery of its first two 737-8KNs (35794, A6-FDA - - SEE PHOTO - - "FDB-737-8KN-2009-05;" 35795, A6-FDB).

June 2009: FlyDubai (FDB)'s inaugural flight departed from Dubai International's Terminal 2 on its way to Beirut, marking "an opening of the skies for low-cost travel to and from the Emirate," the start-up said. The 737-800, operating as FZ157, carried 189 passengers and arrived in Lebanon a little more than >3.5 hours later.

"Today will always be remembered as the day Dubai took an important step towards more accessible and more affordable travel," CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith said. "A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring our first flight was ready for takeoff when we promised it would be. From our historic order of fifty 737-800 airplanes at the Farnborough Airshow last July, through choosing cabin crew (FC)/(CA) uniforms, hiring staff, selecting seat design and catering, there has been a tremendous amount of work to do. Seeing it all come together so successfully today and seeing our passengers enjoying their experience with (FDB) makes this a very proud moment."

(FDB)'s one-way fare on the route starts at AED250/$68. It is scheduled to launch a daily service to Amman, to Damascus on June 8 and to Alexandria on June 9, with "more destinations announced in the near future."

(FDB) will launch service to Aleppo, its fifth destination, on July 13, after taking delivery of a third 737-800.

(FDB) will launch Indian service on July 13 with a four-times-weekly flight to Lucknow. Thrice-weekly service to Coimbatore and flights to Chandigarh begin July 23.

Navtech signed contracts with FlyDubai (FDB) (three-year deal for its Airport Analysis data product).

(FDB) made a deal to finance 4 737-800s (worth $320 million) from (GECAS) (GEF). The sale and leaseback agreement covers the airplanes due to be delivered in 2009, with two expected in July, one in October, and the 4th in December.

July 2009: (GECAS) (GEF) and FlyDubai (FDB) reached a sale-and-leaseback agreement covering four 737-800s scheduled for delivery in the second half of this year (two this month, one in October and one in December). The airplanes are worth $320 million. (FDB) CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith said the financing is the first secured by the start-up from outside the (UAE). (FDB) expects to operate six airplanes to "around" 14 destinations by year end. (FDB) ordered 50 737-800s at last year's Farnborough Airshow.

FlyDubai (FDB) named easyJet (EZY) Procurement Director, Neil Mills CFO, and Emirates (EAD) Divisional Senior VP Network Operations, Hamad Obaidalla, CCO.

2 737-8KNs (40233, A6-FDC; 40234, A6-FDD), deliveries.

August 2009: FlyDubai (FDB) will launch thrice-weekly, Dubai - Djibouti service September 1.

October 2009: FlyDubai (FDB) will fly to Doha its eighth destination and second after Dubai in the Gulf region. (FDB) has another new route, this one from its home base in Dubai to Sudan’s capital Khartoum. Incidentally, Emirates (EAD) (which is likewise
owned by Dubai’s government) and (FDB)’s rival, Air Arabia (ABZ), both serve Khartoum.

(FDB) took delivery of a fifth new 737-8KN (40235, A6-FDE), part of its order for 50 placed at last year's Farnborough Airshow. The airplane seats 189 in one class and is financed by the $320 million sale/leaseback deal recently announced with (GECAS) (GEF). (FDB) also serves Beirut, Amman, Damascus, Aleppo, Alexandria, and Djibouti.

(FDB) hired 8 pilots (FC) in September. (FDB) plans to hire 16 pilots (FC) in the next three months.

November 2009: Flydubai (FDB) will launch twice-daily, Dubai - Bahrain service on December 13. (FDB) will launch four-times-weekly, Dubai - Kathmandu service on December 15, its 11th route.

Rockwell Collins said Flydubai (FDB) selected it to provide avionics and a data link communications system for its fleet of 54 737NGs. The order includes HGS-4000 Head-Up Guidance System, MultiScan Hazard Detection System and Hermes 2100 Ground Data Link System as well as ADF-900 Automatic Direction Finder, DFA-901 Direction Finding Antenna, DME-900 Distance Measuring Equipment, HFS-900D High Frequency Radio, CPL-920D Coupling Unit, GLU Multi-Mode Receiver, PAU-700 Passenger Address Unit, VHF-2100 High-Speed Multi-Mode Data Radio and VOR-900 VHF Omnidirectional Range Receiver.

December 2009: Flydubai

(FDB) took delivery of its sixth 737-8KN (40236, A6-FDF).

March 2010: 737-8KN (29636, A6-FDG), Babcock (BBB) leased.

May 2010: Flydubai (FDB) launches four-times-weekly, Dubai - Colombo services on June 23. The Sri Lankan capital, Colombo becomes its 21st destination.

June 2010: FlyDubai (FDB)'s 9th 737-8KN (31765, A6-FDI), Babcock (BBB) leased is being used for its new Istanbul route.

July 2010: FlyDubai (FDB) launches 2x-weekly, Dubai to Erbil service July 16.

FlyDubai (FDB) (CFO), Neil Mills will leave the Dubai-based budget airline to join Indian Low Cost Carrier (LCC) SpiceJet (ROJ) as (CEO) by October. SpiceJet (ROJ) (CEO) Sanjay Aggarwal resigned at the beginning of July and board member Kishore Gupta is serving as interim (CEO) according to "The Economic Times." (ROJ), which has a 12% share of India's domestic market, is currently going through a change of ownership that is believed to be related to the management moves. In June, Kalanthi Maran, founder of Chennai-based Sun TV Networks, announced he would acquire a 37% stake in the airline for INR7.39 billion/$158 million from current shareholders, the "Times" reported. At the time, (ROJ) was known to be trying to raise at least $75 million through a share issue. Maran subsequently proposed a tender offer to raise his stake to 57.7%, beginning next month.

Aggarwal joined the airline in 2008 from Flight Options, a USA private aviation and fractional ownership provider where he was (COO). Prior to joining Flydubai (FDB) last year, Mills was with easyJet (EZY). He has to serve a 3-month notice period, according to the "Times." (ROJ) carried 5.7 million passengers and earned +INR614.5 million/+$13.7 million for its fiscal year ended March 31.

Aviation Technical Services will install Lumexis Corporation's Fiber-to-the-Screen (IFE) system on board 44 "new post-delivery modification" flydubai (FDB) 737-800s. Installation will commence in October.

August 2010: FlyDubai (FDB) is Emirates' low cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, linking Dubai with cities in the Middle East, the Gulf Co-operation Council states, and India. (FDB) later plans to extend the network to Iran, eastern Europe, and North and East Africa.

(IATA) Code: FZ. (ICAO) Code: FDB - (Callsign - SKY DUBAI).

Parent organization/shareholders: The Emirates Group (100%).

Main Base: Dubai International airport (DXB).

September 2010: FlyDubai (FDB) will launch 2x-weekly, Dubai to Ekaterinburg service from October 31, its 1st service to Russia, aboard a 737-800. (FDB) will launch 2x-weekly, Dubai to Samara services on October 20.

October 2010: Boeing (TBC) has introduced stage one of its mid-life update for the 737 Next Generation family with the delivery of the 1st airplane equipped with the new “Sky” cabin interior to Flydubai (FDB). (FDB) is the launch customer for the new cabin architecture, which features revised lighting, larger stow bins and sculpted sidewalls and window reveals. The upgrade is being followed by a performance improvement package that will deliver a -2% reduction in fuel burn reduction through an aerodynamic clean-up, and revised (CFM56-7B) Evolution powerplant. (TBC) said that this package will begin certification testing soon, and will be fully in service by early 2012. “The package will make the airplane a full +7% more efficient than the 1st Next-Generation 737 delivered,” said (TBC).

The new cabin’s larger stow bins incorporate an assist mechanism that gives easy access and allows them to pivot upwards providing greater headroom around the aisle seats, said (TBC). Mood-lighting is a feature of the new interior, and customers have a choice of schemes. Brighter light-emitting diode technology is employed to replace incandescent signage, attendant and halogen reading lights.

(FDB) will put the new 737-800 into service in November and will receive 3 more Sky Interior-equipped airplanes this year. (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said (FDB) is “very proud to be the 1st to offer an enhanced on board experience” with the new cabin. (FDB) is the 1st of 5 airlines that will receive 737s with the new interior this year. In total, (TBC) holds orders for >1,200 Sky Interior-equipped 737s from 46 customers.

(FLY) Leasing Limited reached a sale/leaseback agreement with flydubai (FDB) covering 3 new 737-800NGs. The airplanes are scheduled to be delivered from (TBC) in October, December and February. (FDB) is set to continue its rapid growth throughout next year, introducing 1 new 737-800 almost every month through 2011. The acquisitions will see the fleet more than double as (FDB) expands its network with new routes and increased frequencies. “We have 9 737s and will receive 4 more before year-end,” said (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith. “10 will be delivered next year, and we will reach 50 airplanes in 2016.”

(FDB), which is wholly owned by the Dubai government, serves 22 destinations and will launch 2 more this year to Yekaterinburg and Samara in central and SE Russia, respectively. Al Ghaith said (FDB) has added, or announced plans to add 13 new routes in 2010, and more are likely before year-end. “In 2011, we’ll be adding more frequencies to our existing network and more destinations, but although we are doubling the number of airplanes, we are not going to double the number of routes.” Al Ghaith sees huge opportunities for low-cost-carrier (LCC) growth in the Middle East, but only if there is more competition and greater deregulation. “Today, just 7% of capacity in the region is low-cost, compared with 35% in Europe,” he said. “There is no reason why the Middle East can’t be the same, but there will have to be far more players, and the market must become more open. “We need flexibility to fly where we want, when we want, and as many times as we want. There is also an issue with [immigration] visas, which limits the ability to travel between some countries in the region.”

Al Ghaith is quick to note (FDB)’s independence from the government and fellow state-owned carrier, Emirates Airline (EAD). “We don’t get preferential rates on fuel or airport charges, and we don’t get any subsidies beyond what the government invested in the start-up of (FDB),” he said. While acknowledging the launch support (EAD) gave the airline, Al Ghaith said, “(FDB) is now a completely separate and independent airline. We don’t discuss route network strategy.” Although (FDB) and (EAD) compete on some routes, Al Ghaith said there is no question of cannibalization. “Common routes are primarily to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) points, but our customers have different needs. We have the lowest fare and an unbundled product, whereas (EAD) sells a full-service product aimed at a different segment of the market.”

Al Ghaith said (FDB) has created significant new traffic on many routes. “As an example, Dubai to Amman traffic has grown +40% over 12 months. This business was either not traveling before or going somewhere else. Our region depends a lot on accessibility. The more you build, the more they will come.”

As (FDB) expands, Al Ghaith does not see any issues with recruiting pilots (FC) but reveals that it may launch a training program. (FDB) is opting for a scheme that uses more experienced pilots (FC) to train others, which would be a cost-effective model for (FDB).

737-8KN (40237, A6-FDJ), Babcock (BBB) leased, ex-(N6046P).

November 2010: FlyDubai (FDB) has started flights to Abha in Saudi Arabia, and Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. (FDB) starts new link between Koltsovo International airport, Ekaterinburg and Dubai, 2x-weekly with a 737-800. At 5 hours, the flight is 1 of the longest. It is (FDB)'s 23rd destination and (FDB) is the airport's 6th international air carrier. (FDB) launched 2x-weekly, Dubai to Yerevan service.

Avolon reached sale/leaseback agreements with flydubai (FDB) covering 4 737-800s worth $320 million at list prices. In addition to recent deals with (GECAS) (GEF) and (BBAM) (BBB) to finance 9 airplanes, this latest deal secures (FDB)’s needs through to December 2011.

December 2010: Flydubai (FDB) launched service from Abha (4x-weekly), Sulaymaniyah (2x-weekly), and Ashgabat (2x-weekly). (FDB) announced it will operate service to Alexandria Borg El Arab instead of El Nouzha, following Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority ruling.

(CTC) Aviation Group reached a 3-year contract with flydubai (FDB) to assist with pilot (FC) recruitment. (FDB) said it is required to add 140 pilots (FC) annually over the next 3 years.

(FDB) has already taken delivery of 3 new 737-800 "Sky Interiors," and is expecting a 4th. These 4 airplanes have been fitted with a new fiber-to-the-screen in-flight entertainment (IFE) system from industry newcomer Lumexis, for which (FDB) was the launch customer.

(FDB) expects to receive another 10 airplanes in 2011, taking its total fleet to 23 by the end of 2011. It announced an order of 54 737-800NGs at the Farnborough Airshow earlier this year. All new airplanes will be fitted with the Lumexis (IFE), but airline Chief Operating Officer Captain Kenneth Gile said that he is not entertaining the idea of retrofitting the existing fleet of 737-800NGs that were delivered earlier this year. “Those will be used on shorter-haul routes on our network,” he said.

(FDB) now connects to 28 destinations from its base in Dubai, many of
which are also served by Air Arabia (ABZ), Etihad (EHD), and Emirates (EAD). However, (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, does not believe that (FDB)’s dominance of the Middle Eastern low-cost market through fast fleet and route growth will impede other carriers from succeeding in the region. “We do not have many low-cost carriers (LCC)s in the Middle East,” said Ghaith. “The national airlines are huge, but the low-cost model has not been explored as much as it should in the Middle East.”

“We believe there’s a fruitful road of growth ahead for low-cost carriers (LCC)s, and this is the beginning of the growth, but there’s still a lot to be done.” Talking about growth in key markets, such as India, where (FDB) struggled to launch Lucknow last year, Ghaith said, “Access to certain markets depends on the understanding between 2 governments. It’s a reflection that there are not enough rights into those markets, but that’s the nature of the area that we operate in. We continue to work with our government and others" [to introduce new routes]. Despite other carriers in the region struggling to make a profit, Ghaith is confident that (FDB) will continue with its rapid growth strategy. He said the aim has always been to be profitable by the end of 2012, and he confirmed (FDB) is still on track to meet that target. (FDB) launched during the financial crisis, he said, and this is reflected in its business model. “Our strategy is to get to a size that allows us more success. When we have 20 plus airplanes in operation, we will have reached critical mass,” he said. (FDB) currently has 13 airplanes in service and is expecting Boeing (TBC) to deliver a further 10 in 2011. “We have a good relationship with (TBC), and our expansion plans are still on track.”

737-8KN (40240, A6-FDM), delivery.

January 2011: FlyDubai (FDB) keeps expanding into small and medium-sized cities overlooked by Emirates (EAD) and its big wide bodies. The latest is Chittagong, the 2nd largest city in Bangladesh after the capital Dhaka. (FDB) starts with 4x-weekly, Dubai to Chittagong service, becoming daily in March. It is (FDB)'s 30th destination. (FDB) will make Port Sudan its next destination. The city lies on the Red Sea across from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

737-8KN (40242, A6-FDO) delivery and (40241, A6-FDN), (GEF) leased.

February 2011: Dubai Aerospace (DAZ) has canceled an order for 32 of Boeing (TBC)’s 737s, which could cost (TBC) some $2.3 billion. FlyDubai (FDB) still has 35 of the planes on order.

(FDB) is currently interviewing and hiring pilots (FC).


April 2011: FlyDubai (FDB) said it will invest $20 million in Maintenance & Engineering, and will bring all maintenance and engineering services in-house within the next 6 months. >75 engineers (MT) have been recruited to provide around-the-clock service to (FDB)’s rapidly growing fleet, which currently stands at 16 737-800NGs.

737-8KN (40244, A6-FDQ), delivery, ex-(DN1796B).

May 2011: Travelport signed a multi-year deal with FlyDubai (FDB) to allow (FDB) to "tap into" the network of agents who use Travelport's Galileo or Worldspan Global Distribution Systems (GDS)s. It will also enable travel agents to book flights with (FDB) and partner airlines under the same passenger name record.

(FDB) has inked an 8-year sale/leaseback agreement with MC Aviation Partners, securing $80 million in financing for the remaining 737-800NG (FDB) is due to receive this year. (FDB) will soon issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) for (FDB)’s 2012 financing requirements. This will be (FDB)’s 10th new 737-800NG airplane, its final 1 to be delivered this year.

The move ensures that >50% of (FDB)’s fleet will now be outfitted with the new Sky Interior as well as Lumexis In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) as part of previously announced orders.

(FDB) started operations 23 months ago and serves 36 destinations. "We want to have >40 destinations by the end of this year with more routes in the region, sub-continent and Eastern Europe," (CEO) Gaith Al Gaith told "Gulf News."

(FDB) said it will need to recruit 600 pilots (FC) over the next 4 years to meet the needs of its growing fleet and serve its rapidly expanding route network. (FDB), which already has >200 pilots (FC), requires 7 captains (FC) and 7 first officers (FC) to crew each of the 50 ordered 737s, the last of which is set to be delivered in 2016.

“We are recruiting pilots (FC) of all type ratings aggressively to ensure we will have the staff to meet our operational requirements,” (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

To support its external recruitment, (FDB) has also implemented an in-house captain upgrade scheme. “Since the scheme started last year, we have had 15 first officers (FC) successfully upgrade to captains (FC), with more completing the program every month. Through this, we want to take the best pilots (FC) from around the world and turn them into the best (FDB) pilots (FC),” said Al Ghaith.

Flydubai (FDB) will launch 3x-weekly, Dubai to Hyderabad service June 1, its 2nd destination in India. (FDB) announced its entry into the Ukraine with flights from Dubai (DXB)to Kiev Boryspil, Donetsk, and Kharkov. (FDB) will launch 3x-weekly, (DXB) to Kiev service and 2x-weekly, Kharkov services on September 16; 2x-weekly service to Donetsk will begin September 17 with all flights operated by 737-800s.

June 2011: Flydubai (FDB) expects to announce its 1st annual profit in 2012. "With 21 airplanes [by the end of 2012] we will have the right size to" operate sustainably, (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

(FDB) celebrates its 2nd anniversary this month and continues to expand rapidly. Though conceding that building a new airline is "challenging," Ghaith said the Middle East is a "dynamic region for an airline to start operations," particularly compared to launching a Low Cost Carrier (LCC) in a European market saturated with low-fare services. Ghaith said he expects more Middle East (LCC)s to launch: "(LCC)s have <10% of the market share [in the Persian Gulf region] compared to 30% and 50% in North America and Europe." He asserted that (LCC)s can grow to gain a 20% share in the Middle East.

"The development of Dubai itself supports our business," he explained. "Every business model comes with a lot of concern that the model can go wrong. But our expectations [for success] have been very much fulfilled."

Nevertheless, (FDB) faces challenges such as securing traffic rights, political unrest in the region and even dealing with the impact a strong sandstorm can have on an airline's operations. "We have been affected in some parts of the region [by the political unrest]," Ghaith said. "For us, it is important to adapt quickly. We canceled some flights, but moved airplanes to [other routes]. The traffic comes back quickly, because [in many of the affected countries] there are a lot of relatives, friends and business people who want to travel [to see one another]."

(FDB) has 54 737-800s on order with deliveries slated to be completed in 2016. "We are already thinking about the future [fleet] and following the products of both manufacturers, Boeing 737NGs and Airbus A320neos," Ghaith said, adding that (FDB) is far away from placing an airplane order. (FDB) is operating its 737s 14 hours per day on average. "Our cost base is very low," Ghaith commented. "But 40% of our costs are fuel."

(FDB) will stay away from ultra-long-haul operations, he said. "I will stick with the 737-800 range of 5-and-a-half hours' flying time," the (CEO) stated. By the end of 2011, (FDB) expects its network to reach 40 destinations, rising to 50 by the end of 2012. (FDB) and (CTT) Systems said (FDB) has placed an order for 31 Zonal Drying Systems to be installed in its 737-800s. The systems, which eliminate condensation in the airplanes, will be installed by Boeing at time of production on its airplanes to be delivered from 2011 to 2015.

“For 1 airplane in 1 year, this system reduces carbon dioxide emissions by -69 tonnes, nitrogen oxide emissions by -200 kg, hydrocarbon emissions by -35 kg, and Kolmonoxid emissions by -480 kg. When the rest of our fleet is fitted with this system, we will be saving 2,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year and that’s equivalent to that from 660 cars,” said (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith.

(FDB) started daily, Dubai to Dammam service.

2 737-8KNs (40246, A6-FDS; 40247, A6-FDT), sold to Avolon Leasing Group (AZV) and leased to FlyDubai (FDB).

July 2011: Flydubai (FDB) will start weekly Dubai service to Kazan (on September 14) and Ufa (on September 17).

August 2011: Flydubai (FDB) will launch weekly, Dubai to Ahmedabad service on August 27. It is (FDB)'s 3rd route into India. (FDB)
now serves 39 destinations.

(FDB) received its 19th 737-8KN (40249, A6-FDU). (FDB)'s fleet size has doubled in just 1 year. It launched operations in June 2009.

October 2011: FlyDubai (FDB) has started new flights to Kazan, Ufa, Kiev, Donetsk and Kharkiv in the Ukraine. (FDB) now serves 11 cities in the former USSR.

November 2011: Flydubai (FDB) has signed a maintenance cost agreement with Honeywell (SGC), worth >$20 million, to provide maintenance support for (FDB)'s auxiliary power units (APUs) installed on its growing fleet of 737-800NG passenger airplanes. The 10-year contract provides (FDB) with a stable, predictable maintenance structure that reduces costs associated with ad-hoc maintenance work and unscheduled airframe grounding. It extends the operational status of the fleet of 20 airplanes. (FDB) has another 30 737-800NG airplanes on order.

(FDB) launched 2x-weekly, Dubai to Tbilisi service on November 4.

December 2011: Flydubai (FDB) started 4x-weekly, Dubai to Belgrade service.

January 2012: FlyDubai (FDB), in addition to launching a new cargo unit, will double the number of cities it serves in Iraq, a recent uptick in political strife there, notwithstanding. (FDB) already serves Sulaimaniyah and Irbil and will now enter Baghdad and Najaf. This means FlyDubai will overlap Emirates (EAD) on 19 routes: Baghdad, Addis Ababa, Ahmedabad, Amman, Bahrain, Beirut, Colombo, Dammam, Damascus, Dhaka, Doha, Hyderabad, Istanbul, Karachi, Jeddah, Khartoum, Kuwait, Muscat, and Riyadh.

(FDB) will launch 3x-weekly, Dubai to Taif service on February 1.

The world’s 4th busiest airport in terms of international passenger and cargo traffic, Dubai International airport (DXB) handled passenger traffic of 51 million in 2011, up +8%, compared to 47.2 million in 2010, posting another record year for the airport. Airplane movements totaled 326,317, up +6.2% over 2010.

In December, passenger traffic reached 4.7 million, up 10.2% over the same prior-year period. “In a year that was characterized by economic uncertainty, political instability and high oil prices, passenger growth continued unabated driven by new routes and additional frequencies,” Paul Griffiths, (CEO) of Dubai Airports, said. “That trend will continue in 2012 with our two largest airlines, Emirates (EAD) and flydubai (FDB), set to receive additional aircraft throughout the year.”

Unrest across the Middle East and weaker global economic conditions hit passenger and air freight traffic last year.

In 2011, (DXB) added +28 destinations and discontinued -17, boosting overall passenger destinations to 215, compared to 204 in 2010. Its strongest markets include India, the (UK), Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Germany, and the USA. According to (DXB), routes to Eastern Europe experienced the highest growth, up +81%. Routes to Russia and the (CIS) jumped +30.5% and routes to North America climbed +16.1%.

Freight, which reflected the faltering world economy, was down -1.5% to 2.19 million tonnes.

(DXB) expects to complete construction of Concourse 3, the world’s largest dedicated Airbus A380 facility, by year end.

Government-run, Dubai Airports owns and manages Dubai’s 2 airports, Dubai International and the new Al Maktoum International, which opened for cargo operations in 2010. The airport operator plans to invest $7.8 billion in airport expansion to boost current capacity from 60 million passengers a year to 90 million by 2018.

FlyDubai (FDB) is currently interviewing and hiring 737-800 Captains and First Officers Flight Crew (FC) with modern (EFIS) experience. (FDB) expects to continue to grow and hire pilots (FC) for the next 5 years. Applicants can submit an application online.

See FltOps.com and FAPA.aero.

2 737-8KNs (40251, A6-FDX; 40252, A6-FDY), deliveries.

February 2012: On February 1st, FlyDubai (FDB) launched services from Dubai (DXB) to Taif (TIF), located not far from Mecca in Saudi Arabia, (FDB)’s 7tTh destination in that country following Abha (November 2010), Dammam (July 2011), Gassim (January 2011), Jeddah (May 2011), Riyadh (May 2011) and Yanbu (January 2011). Flights will operate 3x- weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) with (FDB)’s single fleet of 189-seat 737-800s. (FDB) (CEO), Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We are grateful to the Saudi authorities for their continued support of flydubai (FDB). Taif marks our seventh destination in (KSA) and is part of our strategy to connect the (UAE) to destinations previously under-served by direct air links. By continuing to identify emerging cities such as Taif, we hope to continue promoting new avenues for trade and commercial ties across our network.” Situated 1,700 m above sea level in the Hejaz province, Taif is a holiday destination thanks to its temperate climate and scenery. With tree-lined streets, large souks and almost 3,000 gardens, the city is gaining prominence around the region as an alternative short-holiday destination. With the launch of operations to Taif, (FDB) will operate a total of 55 weekly flights to destinations across Saudi Arabia.

(FDB) added another country market to its network on February 7 when (FDB) connected its Dubai (DXB) base with Bishkek (FRU), the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Flights operate 2x-weekly with (FDB)’s 189-seat 737-800s, competing with Kyrgyzstan Air’s flights with the same frequency. Inaugurating the 1st flight, Hamad Obaidalla (FDB)’s (CCO), said: “Today is a momentous day for flydubai (FDB). Not only is Bishkek the 50th destination we have started operations to, but it also marks our entry into the Kyrgyz Republic. I’d like to thank the authorities for their help with starting this service, which I am sure will be well received by passengers around our network.” (FDB) launched 3x-weekly, Dubai to Taif, Saudi Arabia service on February 2.

(FDB) opened a new state-of-the-art training center in Dubai. The facility, approved by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), is the only certified Boeing 737 facility in the United Arab Emirates.

The center is also available to conduct 3rd-party work for other airlines in training cabin (CA) and flight deck crews (FC).

The facility, which cost >AED2 million/+$545,000 includes a fire and smoke training simulator plus 4 large classrooms and a dedicated computer-based training room. It is an expansion of the original training center, which was opened in August 2010, and houses a 737 door trainer, emergency training slide, pilot (FC) training seat and 4 traditional classrooms.

March 2012: FlyDubai (FDB) will launch 4x-weekly service between Dubai and Sana'a on April 22.

April 2012: Revenue Management Systems was selected by flydubai (FDB) to provide its revenue management, inventory control, and reporting tool software, airRM.

May 2012: Flydubai (FDB) has signed an 8-year sale/leaseback agreement with Pembroke Group (PEB) to secure $172 million in financing for 2 737-800NGs, which are scheduled to enter the fleet in June and July. It follows the request for proposal (RFP) issued by (FDB) for its 2012 airplane funding requirements.

The deal makes (FDB) the 1st (UAE) carrier to be approved under the new airworthiness requirements, known as Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR-M) by the (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority. All (UAE) airlines must adhere to these regulations by June 30.

June 2012: flydubai (FDB) has leased its 737-8KN (40234, A6-FDD) to Transavia Airlines (TAV) for the summer season, where it currently operates as (PH-FDD).

July 2012: 737-8KN (40254, A6-FEA) delivery.

August 2012: flydubai (FDB) expanded its Iraqi network out of Dubai (DXB) the same week as its full-serving sibling, Emirates (EAD. On August 8, (FDB) began serving Iraq’s port city Basra (BSR), becoming its 5th Iraqi destination after Baghdad, Najaf, Sulaimaniyah and Erbil. Flights operate 4x-weekly with (FDB)’s 189-seat 737-800s, competing with (EAD)’s daily operations on the same route. flydubai (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “We identified Iraq as 1 of our principal markets in 2010 with the launch of services to Erbil and Sulaimaniyah. This is in line with our commitment to continually identify emerging and under served destinations. We hope that our expanding network will further promote travel between the (UAE) and Iraq, not only for the business community but also for the thousands of Iraqi expatriates residing in the (UAE).”

September 2012: Flydubai (FDB is ready to double the number destinations from Dubai to Russia if the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Russia make changes in their bilateral agreement, (FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said. According to the agreement, (FDB) can now operate flights to 4 Russian cities.

In October 2010, (FDB) launched routes to Yekaterinburg and Samara, followed by Kazan and Ufa in September 2011.

Ghaith Al Ghaith added that the market between the countries has grown +85%. (FDB) now operates 2x-weekly on each Russian destination; frequencies could be increased in the future.

On October 1, (FDB) began operating 3x-weekly flights from its Dubai (DXB) base to Romania’s capital Bucharest (OTP). Notably, this is (FDB)’s 1st route to a destination in the European Union (FDB). (FDB)'s 189-seat 737-800s compete with Tarom (TRM)’s also 3x-weekly operations. (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “Since the launch of our 1st flight to Central & Eastern Europe with our service to Baku in Azerbaijan, in November 2009, (FDB) has expanded rapidly to become the leading airline servicing the region. With the addition of Bucharest, we now fly to 13 destinations across 8 countries in the region.”

October 2012: flydubai (FDB) continued expanding its network into Eastern Europe on October 18 launching 2x-weekly to Skopje (SKP), the capital of Macedonia. (FDB) will operate the route from its Dubai (DXB) base 2x-weekly with its 189Y-seat 737-800s. The intercontinental route is a major milestone for Skopje, which generates traffic flows to and from Australia that is home to a sizeable Macedonian community. Through a partnership with its full-service sister airline Emirates (EAD), flydubai (FDB) feeds passengers to their joint hub in Dubai. (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “>40% of our route development this year has taken place in Central & Eastern Europe and with the addition of Skopje, we are connecting the (UAE) to another under-served market. This illustrates our commitment to this region, while also opening up opportunities for cooperation and collaboration with different nations.”

November 2012: Flydubai (FDB) inaugurated services on the 1,900 km route from Dubai (DXB) to Tabuk (TUU) in NW Saudi Arabia. This is (FDB)’s 8th service to Saudi Arabia. 2x-weekly departures will be operated with (FDB)’s 189Y-seat 737-800s. (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “We are very grateful to the Saudi authorities for helping us connect Dubai to underserved destinations in the Kingdom. Besides its business credentials, Tabuk is also an emerging leisure hub. With more and more families preferring to travel within the region, this low-cost link provides an alternative holiday spot.”

(FDB) has acquired a $117.5 million loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank supporting exports of 737-800s.

January 2013: flydubai (FDB) inaugurated flights from Dubai (DXB) to Malé (MLE) on January 19. (FDB) now serves the Maldives with 5x-weekly using its fleet of 737-800s, competing with Emirates (EAD)’s 2x-daily 777-operated services. (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “As the 1st low-cost carrier (LCC) from the (UAE) to fly to the Maldives, we are making this island paradise even more accessible to travellers across our network”. The 3,000 km route to the Maldivian capital became (FDB)’s 51st destination served from the M E mega hub.

February 2013: Flydubai (FDB) is in talks with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) over a major order for single-aisle airplanes. (FDB) is believed to be looking for up to 50 airplanes, either A320 or 737 family airplanes.

The news came from (FDB)’s Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum as he was delivering (FDB)’s 2012 results in Dubai.

Revenue for (FDB) was AED 2,778 million/$756 million, while net profit reached +AED 151.9 million. This is the 1st time the airline (which began operations in 2009 and is wholly owned by the government of Dubai) has released any financial figures and none were available from 2011 for comparative purposes.

Ancillary revenues accounted for 16.5% of total revenues and would continue to be a significant component of the company’s earnings, Sheikh Ahmed said. (FDB)’s added-value services include in-flight entertainment, seat preferences, checked baggage allowances, travel insurance and visa facilitation services.

The rapidly expanding airline, whose route network has grown from 25 to 52 destinations over the past 2 years, carried 5.1 passengers in 2012. (FDB) operates an all-Boeing 737-800 fleet, with 28 on strength and a further 22 to be delivered by 2016.

Sheikh Ahmed said it was possible that any new order for airplanes could be announced during the Dubai Air Show, which takes place in November. It has not yet been decided to what extent any new airplanes would replace existing examples or feed further expansion. An order for either the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX families would be unlikely to arrive much before the end of the decade, by which time early examples in the current fleet would be approaching the 10-year mark.

March 2013: News Item A-1: A flydubai (FDB) Boeing 737-800, en route from Dubai to Russia’s Rostov-on-Don Airport, crashed on landing March 19. (FDB) said all 55 passengers and 7 crew members on board the 737 were killed. An initial statement from Russian emergency and accident investigation agencies said there was severe weather, with strong winds, rain and snowfall in the area at the time. They also said the 737-800's voice and flight data recorders had been recovered.

News Item A-2: Flydubai (FDB) tripled the amount of destinations it serves in Pakistan, as it launched services from its Dubai (DXB) base to both Sialkot (SKT) and Multan (MUX) on March 13 and 14, respectively. (FDB)'s (CEO), Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “Our flights to Karachi have been busy since operations began in June 2010. With a significant number of expatriates living in the (UAE), and established trade links, we expect these new destinations to be equally successful as people seek affordable fares between our nations.” While 3x-weekly flights are offered on each route, competition exists only in the market to Multan, which is served with weekly services by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

News Item A-3: (FDB) will launch 4x-weekly, Dubai to Juba service on April 21.

News Item A-4: Flydubai (FDB) will double the number of routes from Dubai to Russia and add new destinations in Ukraine this year. (FDB) will launch flights to Mineralnye Vody April 16; to Volgograd and Rostov-on-Don September 13; and to Krasnodar on September 20. (FDB) (CEO) Gaith Al Gaith said (FDB) was ready to double the number of destinations last year.

(FDB)’s Ukrainian network will grow with service from Dubai to Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk from September 15 and 18, respectively. At the same time, (FDB) will launch a 2nd daily flight to Kiev.

(FDB) launched routes to Yekaterinburg and Samara in October 2011, followed by Ufa and Kazan in September 2011. With the new destinations, the number of (FDB) routes in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will reach 18 cities.

Gaith Al Gaith said Russia and Ukraine are the most important markets for (FDB). (FDB) Head of Commercial Operations, Jeyhun Efendi added (FDB) had been designated on the Dubai to Moscow route but it is unlikely to launch this year as the competition in Moscow is tough.

News Item A-5: JorAMCo (JOR) signed a contract with flydubai (FDB) to provide "C" airplane maintenance checks for 23 of its 28 737-800s. (JOR) will provide "C1," "C2" and "C3" checks, as well as service bulletins (SB)s and Airworthiness Directive (AD)s until December 2013.

April 2013: flydubai (FDB) continues its expansion from Dubai (DXB), with 2 new routes inaugurated this month. On April 16, (FDB) launched its 5th destination to Russia, and now operates a 2x-weekly schedule to Mineralnye Vody (MRV), the country’s gateway to Caucasian mineral waters. (FDB) competes in the market with Ural Airlines, which already serves the route on a weekly basis. Also on April 21, (FDB) started 4x-weekly operations on the 3,400 km route to the capital of S Sudan, Juba (JUB). On the launch day (FDB)'s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We are pleased to start operations to Juba as it enables us to further broaden our network in Africa and opens up more routes to previously underserved markets”. Both of the routes are operated with (FDB)’s 189Y-seat 737-800s.

flydubai (FDB) expanded its offering in the (CIS), as it commenced services on the 2,300 km route from its Dubai (DXB) base to Osh (OSS) in Kyrgyzstan on April 24. Weekly flights are now offered on the route, which is (FDB)’s 2nd to the country, as (FDB) already operates 3x-weekly services to Bishkek. (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “We marked our entry to the Kyrgyz market back in February 2012 with flights to the capital, Bishkek, and through adding Osh and soon also Dushanbe in Tajikistan, we are able to link even more underserved destinations to our ever growing network.” 737-800s are deployed on the new route. (FDB) joins China Southern Airlines (GUN) and Turkish Airlines (THY) in being a rare non- Russian/(CIS)-based airline serving Osh, which handled >800,000 passengers last year.

737-8KN (40258, A6-FEE), ex-(N1786B), delivery.

May 2013: flydubai (FDB) ended the busy month of April, during which it started services to Mineralnye Vody in Russia, Juba in S Sudan and Osh in Kyrgyzstan, with the launch of operations to its 57th international destination on April 30, and now serves Dushanbe (DYU) from its Dubai (DXB) base with 2x-weekly services. (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “Today is an exciting day for (FDB), as we start operations to our 33rd country. We are pleased to extend our reach in Central Asia and, as the 1st (UAE) airline serving Dushanbe, look forward to encouraging trade and developing further relations between our countries.”

July 2013: flydubai (FDB) increased its offering on routes from Dubai (DXB) to Saudi Arabia on July 25, when it commenced flights to Madinah (MED), making it its 10th destination in the country, and the 15th new destination launched this year. Daily 737-800-operated services face competition from Emirates (EAD) (7x-weekly) and Saudia (SVA) (4x-). (FDB)’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “The holy month of Ramadan is a perfect time to commence flights to the holy city of Madinah and we are most grateful to the Saudi authorities for their support and assistance in enabling us to establish a direct air link from Dubai.”

737-8KN (40281, A6-FEG), (SMBC) Aviation Capital leased.

August 2013: FlyDubai (FDB) is to open services to the Ukrainian city of Odessa next month. (FDB) will begin flying the Dubai to Odessa route on September 20. (FDB) will carry out the service 2x-weekly using 737-800s. It has a fleet of 29 of the type.

flydubai (FDB) has announced the launch of Business (C) Class services across its network. The 1st airplane with a revised, 2-class interior is arriving this month. Tickets will be available for purchase on selected flights this month and the inaugural flight is scheduled to take off in October.

The 737-800 cabin will be configured with 12C Business Class seats with a seat pitch of 42 in/107 cm and will include a 12.1 in/30.7 cm high-definition, touchscreen in-flight entertainment (IFE) system with >900 hours of films, music and games available for viewing. Travellers will also be offered a selection of cold, light food and beverages on short flights and the choice of a 3-course meal from a specially-produced "Halal" menu on flights of 90 minutes and above.

The 1st flight to feature the new business (C) class service will be the Kiev flight from Dubai on October 8. Other business (C) class routes starting in October include Male, Istanbul, Mineralnye Vody, and Bucharest. (FDB) plans to add more business (C) class destinations by year end.

Authorities at Dubai International Airport (DXB) have said that the facility is to close both runways for almost 3 months in 2014 in a major refurbishment program. This will lead to scheduled passenger flights and all Emirates Sky Cargo (EMC) airplanes being diverted to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC). The work is due to take 80 days and will start on May 1st.

The southern runway will be closed from May 1 - May 31, 2014, while the northern runway will be out of operation from May 31 to June 20, 2014 as the upgrades are implemented."

According to FAPA.aero, flydubai (FDB) had 3 flight crew (FC) in class in February and 21 in March. (FDB) is hiring First Officers (FC). (FDB) will hire 4 pilots (FC) every month from June to December. (FDB) recruiters attended the FAPA.aero Pilot (FC) Job Fair in Las Vegas in April.

September 2013: flydubai (FDB) began daily flights on September 15th from its home base in Dubai (DXB) to Kiev Zhulyany (IEV) in Ukraine. The 3,500 km sector will be flown by (FDB)’s 737-800s, and complements (FDB)’s existing route to Kiev’s main airport, Borispol. This becomes (FDB)’s 4th destination in Ukraine, as it also serves Donetsk and Kharkiv, and will soon be introducing flights to Odessa as well.

October 2013: flydubai (FDB) launched a total of 3 new routes during the last 2 weeks from its base at Dubai (DXB) airport. 2x-weekly flights operated by (FDB)’s fleet of 737-800s were launched to Krasnodar (KRR) and Vologograd (VOG) in Russia, and Odessa (ODS) in Ukraine. The only direct competition on any of these routes comes from Ural Airlines (URL), which offers weekly flights on the Krasnodar route. This brings to 7 the number of destinations served by flydubai (FDB) in Russia, and to 5, the number of destinations served in Ukraine. Commenting on the start of its operations to Volgograd, flydubai’s (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said, “Volgograd is steeped in history and culture and this new air link will provide the opportunity for tourists based in the countries across our network, to visit this legendary city. We are pleased to be the 1st carrier to establish direct air links to Dubai. This year, flydubai (FDB) has doubled its presence in Russia and we welcome Volgograd to our network. We remain focused on opening up previously undeserved markets and connecting them to Dubai.”

(FDB) has further enhanced its Russian network by adding 2x-weekly (Tuesday, Friday) services from Dubai (DXB) to Rostov-on-Don (ROV) on October 11th. This brings to 8 the number of destinations served by (FDB) in Russia. Indirect competition comes from Air Arabia (ABZ) which has been operating from Rostov-on-Don to Sharjah since last November, and also operates 2x-weekly. Last year, Rostov-on-Don Airport handled 1.87 million passengers, an increase of +9.2% on 2011.

November 2013: At the Dubai Air Show, Flydubai (FDB) stated it will order 100 737 Max twinjets as well as 11 more 737NGs, a type (FDB) already operates. The 737 Max will be powered by the (CFM) International (Leap-1B).

Flydubai (FDB) will begin taking delivery of its newly ordered Boeing 737 Max aircraft in the 2nd half of 2017. (FDB) ordered up to 100 of the type (75 of them firm) together with 11 more 737-800s. Deliveries of the Max aircraft will run until 2023.

(FDB) placed a launch order of 50 737-800s in 2008 and already operates 33 of the type on a network serving 65 destinations. The remaining airplanes from this order will be delivered by 2015. The additional 737-800s ordered will follow in 2016 to 2017.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: "Today’s commitment for an order for up to 111 airplanes from Boeing (TBC) signifies the strength of (FDB)’s business model and the still untapped opportunity to connect previously under-served markets to Dubai. This acquisition will support Flydubai (FDB)’s ambitions going forward.

The order marks Boeing (TBC)'s largest single-aisle order from a Middle East carrier.

Flydubai (FDB) has signed an agreement with 5 regional and international banks for $228 million to finance 6 new 737-800 airplanes. The funding will cover 2 recently delivered airplanes, one scheduled for delivery by the end of the year, and 3 further airplanes scheduled for delivery in the 2nd half of 2014.

The commercial bank funding, which was secured following a request for proposal (RFP) issued by Flydubai (FDB) for its 2013 and 2014 airplane funding requirements, is structured as a finance lease with quarterly loan repayments over a 10 to 12 year term.

(FDB) serves >65 destinations in 34 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Subcontinent. Last month, (FDB) introduced a new Business (C) Class service offering more spacious seating, priority check-in, fast track immigration processing, and a high definition touch screen in-flight entertainment system.

December 2013: flydubai ((IATA) Code: FZ, based at Dubai International) (FDB) has outlined its planned May 1, 2014 to July 20, 2014 Dubai World Central operations. It is to be recalled that over the period, Dubai International will be undergoing critical runway repair-work which will affect all scheduled operators that use the facility. According to "Airline Route," the following routes will operate to/from Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) operating as 4-digit flight numbers (FZ5xxx): Addis Ababa, Ahmedabad, Amman Queen Alia, Bahrain, Beirut, Chisinau, Chittagong, Hambantota via Colombo International, Dammam, Doha International, Donetsk, Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen, Jeddah, Kabul, Kathmandu, Kazan International, Khartoum, Kiev Zhulyany, Kuwait, Malé, Muscat, Odessa, Riyadh, Samara Kurumoch, Ufa, and Ekaterinburg.

(FDB) currently operates 35 airplanes and serves 35 countries, 69 destinations, 99 routes and 173 daily flights.

2 737-8KN (40262, A6-FEJ; 40282, A6-FEK), deliveries.

January 2014: Flydubai (FDB) is to launch 2x-weekly Dubai to Hofuf on February 6.

(FDB) has finalized an order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 11 737-800s, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices. In addition, (FDB) retains purchase rights for +25 more 737 MAXs.

The order was 1st announced as a commitment at the Dubai Air Show.

February 2014: Flydubai (FDB) launched services to Hofuf (HOF) on February 6th, becoming (FDB)’s 11th destination in Saudi Arabia and the third it has added in the past 12 months, following the addition of Ha’il in February 2013 and Madinah in July 2013. The 737-800-operated, 581 km sector from Dubai (DXB) will face no direct competition. The 2x-weekly route is flown on Thursdays and Saturdays.

(FDB) will implement Boeing's suite of mobile maintenance applications (Maintenance Turn Time, Toolbox Mobile Library and Toolbox Mobile Parts) to provide real-time access to information so Maintenance Techicians (MT) can quickly resolve maintenance issues.

(FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said, “2013 has been a tremendous year for (FDB). We have launched 16 new routes, delivered profitability in just 3 years of operation and launched our business (C) class service. The confirmed order for 75 737 MAXs and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s signifies the maturing of the airline and the strength of our business model as well as support (FDB)’s ambitious growth.”

Boeing said the development of the 737 MAX is “on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. 1st flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017.”

March 2014: flydubai (FDB) will launch Dubai to Moscow service in September. It will become (FDB)`s 9th destination in Russia. The airport in Moscow has not been specified yet, but (FDB) will do that soon because ticket sales start in April.

Flydubai (FDB) began flying into Russia in 2010, starting with flights to Samara and Yekaterinburg and adding Kazan and Ufa in 2011.
Last year, (FDB) doubled the number of routes to Russia, adding Volgograd, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, and Rostov on Don.

In November, (FDB) performed 24x-weekly to Russia.

(FDB) was unable to fly to Moscow until bilateral restrictions were lifted. (FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said (FDB) would have a careful approach towards the Moscow market because of strong competition.

Emirates Airline (EAD) operates 2x-daily to Moscow, using an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 777. The giant Gulf carrier will change this to 2 A380s in August.

Russia’s Aeroflot (ARO) and Transaero (TRX) fly to Dubai.

See video "VISIT DUBAI" - -

June 2014: flydubai (FDB) serves >70 destinations in 1st 5 years! While Emirates Airline (EAD) is the main driver of the amazing growth at Dubai Airport that has resulted in the airport recently overtaking London Heathrow (LHR) as the world’s busiest airport for international services, the role of flydubai (FDB) should not be overlooked. The low cost carrier (LCC) only started operating on June 1st 2009 (the 1st route was to Beirut), and so recently celebrated its 5th birthday. In that time, it has grown from just 2 737-800s, to a fleet of >30, with a route network stretching across 70 destinations in 34 countries this summer.


Most recently, (FDB) has launched 3 new routes to India (Delhi, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram), despite having had to cut its operations at Dubai Airport, while runway maintenance work took place. Saudi Arabia is still the biggest country market but the gap is closing.


A comparison of schedule data for August 2014 (after the runway work is completed) and August 2013, shows that most of the leading country markets are stable or growing, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, (FDB)’s leading market. As a result the number of monthly flights, it is actually down just >-1% compared with last August.

Although flydubai (FDB) continues to offer non-stop flights from Dubai to 11 destinations in Saudi Arabia (Hofuf was the most recent, added in February), the reduction in Riyadh flights from 5x-daily to just 1x-daily, is the most extreme example of (FDB) cutting weekly flights on 6 of its 11 Saudi destinations. While India has seen its (FDB) flights more than double, destinations in the Russian Federation have also seen significant growth, with Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd having all been started in the last year.

Moscow and Kazakhstan are coming soon! In the next few months, (FDB) plans to start new services to Aden (Yemen), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Kandahar (Afghanistan), Moscow Vnukovo (Russia) and Shymkent (Kazakhstan). Kandahar flights are expected to begin in July, followed by Aden flights in August, and Moscow flights in September.

July 2014: flydubai (FDB) has added Kandahar (KDH) to its Afghan network portfolio, with the start of 2x-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) services on July 25th. The 1,239 km sector joins (FDB)’s existing 3x-daily flights to Kabul. Operating from its Dubai (DXB) base, the 737-800-operated route will face direct competition from Ariana Afghan Airlines (AFG), which flies the city pair 2x-weekly too.

Abu Dhabi International Airport has upgraded its facilities in time for summer operations. The airport has opened +20 new boarding bus gates and has increased Terminal 3 capacity by +44%. It has also added +6 wide body airplane stands, which will increase flight capacity +10%, with a total of 63 stands.

The upgrades also include 16 new X-ray machines in Terminal 3, which is dedicated to Etihad Airways (EHD). An enhanced and expanded baggage transfer system has been introduced for handling transfer luggage between connecting flights, increasing handling capacity by +40%. “As we look ahead to a record number of passengers using Abu Dhabi International Airport as their connecting hub or destination airport, the number of flights we will handle during the peak travel months will leap by +18% to nearly 170 daily flights compared to last summer,” Abu Dhabi Airports Chairman H E Ali Majed Al Mansoori said.

The airport developments are part of the capacity enhancement program, which will lift capacity to 18 million passengers a year. When the Midfield Terminal Complex opens in 2017, capacity will increase by a further +30 million passengers.

Separately, Dubai International Airport has resumed full operations following an 80-day closure to resurface the northern runway and upgrade the southern runway. On July 21st, the airport handled +31% more flights since construction began on the runway upgrades, which were part of Dubai Airports’ $7.8 billion master plan to expand airport capacity to >103 million passengers by 2020.

All airlines had been forced to reduce flights during the period.

Emirates Airline (EAD) (CCO) Thierry Antinori said earlier this year that Emirates (EAD) had to ground 20 airplanes (including 8 Airbus A345-500s, some A330s and a few Boeing 777s) during the refurbishment. It also had to reduce passenger offerings around -10%. “This will have, of course, an impact on our revenues,” he said.

Flights that had temporarily moved to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) during the runway upgrade, have returned to Dubai International (ncluding flydubai (FDB), Malaysian Airlines (MAS), Royal Brunei (RBA) and PAL Express (PHP), as well as selected flights from Qatar Airways (QTA) and Gulf Air (GUL). 4 airlines will continue to operate from (DWC), comprising Wizz Air (WZZ), Gulf Air (GUL), Qatar Airways (QTA) and Jazeera Airways (JZI).

August 2014: flydubai (FDB), which recently began 2x-weekly flights to Aden in Yemen, has started 2 more routes, this time in Iran. Starting on August 10th, it linked its Dubai (DXB) base to Mashhad (MHD), with 2x-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) services. The 1,284 km sector will be in competition with Iran Aseman Airlines (IRB), which operates the city pair 4x-weekly. On the following day, (FDB) began 2x-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) operations to Tehran (IKA). The 1,196 km route will be flown against the incumbents Emirates (EAD) (3x-daily), Mahan Air (MHN) (18x-weekly), Iran Air (IRN) (daily) and Iran Aseman Airlines (IRB) (3x-weekly). Both routes will be flown by flydubai (FDB)’s 737-800 fleet.

September 2014: FlyDubai (FDB) began 3x-weekly, Dubai to Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) via Entebbe (in Uganda, located on Lake Victoria) on September 27. (FDB) began 7x-weekly, Dubai (DXB) to Entebbe on September 28. It operates 2x-weekly (Tuesdays & Fridays), Dubai to Bujumbura (BJM), (the capital city of Burundi) via Entebbe beginning September 30. The service faces no direct competition and is operated by (FDB)’s 174-seat 737-800s.

Commenting on the launch, Hamad Obaidalla, flydubai (FDC) Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) said: “We believe the rich biodiversity of Burundi will attract tourists from around our network, and that the >80 destinations we operate, to offer a great opportunity for this country to strengthen its trade ties.” Since its inception, flydubai (FDB) has created a network of 83 destinations, with 20 new routes announced so far in 2014. Of those 83 routes, it has opened up 53 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a (UAE) national carrier from Dubai.

October 2014: News Item A-1: Saudia (SVA) is set to commence its 1st scheduled international services out of Gassim later next year. Schedule data shows (SVA) will connect the central Saudi Arabian town with Dubai International with a 6x-weekly service beginning January 1, 2015. Operations are on-board either A320 or E170 equipment.

Though Air Arabia ((IATA) Code: G9, Sharjah) (ABZ), AlMasria Universal Airlines ((IATA) Code: UJ, based at Alexandria El Nohza) (ALU), flydubai ((IATA) Code: FZ, based at Dubai International) (FDB), Nesma Airlines ((IATA) Code: NE, based at Cairo International) (NSM), Nile Air ((IATA) Code:NP, based at Cairo International) (NLA), Qatar Airways ((IATA) Code: QR, based at Doha Hamad International) (QTA), and Turkish Airlines ((IATA) Code: TK, based at Istanbul Atatürk) (THY) all offer international connections to the airport, Saudia (SVA) has kept its services entirely domestic, offering flights to Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, and Riyadh.

November 2014: News Item A-1: flydubai (FDB) has started operations to its 7th destination in India with the introduction on October 28th of 5x-weekly flights between Dubai (DXB) and Mumbai (BOM). The 1,926 km route will be operated by (FDB)’s fleet of 41 737-800s and faces intense competition from Emirates (EAD) (35x-weekly), Jet Airways (JPL) (35x-), Air India (AIN) (7x-), IndiGo (IGO) (7x-) and SpiceJet (ROJ) (7x-). Commenting on the launch of the inaugural flight, Ghaith Al Ghaith (CEO) at flydubai (FDB), said: “The launch of our Mumbai route is a clear indication of the enduring relationship between India and the (UAE). It is a reflection of this and in tandem with the decision to increase seat capacity, we can now offer enhanced options for passengers connecting to Dubai and other destinations in our network.” In 2013, India became Dubai’s top trading partner, with a trade volume of USD 37 billion. (FDB) already operates to Ahmedabad (since August 2011), Delhi (June 2014), Hyderabad (June 2011), Kochi (June 2014), Lucknow (June 2010) and Trivandrum (June 2014).

Flydubai (FDB) began daily, Dubai to Dar es Salaam, and 2x-weekly, to Kilimanjaro via Dar es Salaam service and to Zanzibar via Dar es Salaam.

December 2014: flydubai (FDB) has started a trio of new European routes from its Dubai (DXB) hub, linking to Prague (PRG) on December 5th, Bratislava (BTS) on December 6th and Sarajevo (SJJ) on December 8th. All routes will be flown 2x-weekly by (FDB)’s 174-seat 737-800s. Only on the Dubai to Prague sector will (FDB) face any direct competition, namely from Emirates (EAD) (daily) and SmartWings (4x-weekly). The start of the new route marks a significant expansion of (FDB)’s footprint across Central and SE Europe, and brings the number of route launches in 2014 to 23.

Flydubai (FDB) also announced in the 1st quarter of 2015, it will launch 4x-weekly service from Dubai to Nejran (Saudi Arabia) from January 10; 4x-weekly service to Hargeisa (Somaliland) from March 5; and 3x-weekly Dubai to Chennai service (India) from March 31.

These additional routes expand (FDB)’s network to 89 destinations in 46 countries.

737-8KN (40270, A6-FES), delivery.

(FDB) took delivery of 8 new Boeing 737-800s during the current year. It operates 43 Boeing 737-800s.

January 2015: News Item A-1: INCDT: The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s (UAE) aviation regulator has ordered an immediate halt of flights to Baghdad after a flydubai (FDB) 737-800 was hit by bullets on approach to the Iraqi capital’s airport.

The Boeing 737-800, operating FZ215 from Dubai to Baghdad on January 26th, was discovered after landing to have been hit by several bullet rounds. (FDB) said no medical attention was required by passengers, although some local news reports claims a young girl was grazed by a bullet round passing through the fuselage.

A picture in a local newspaper purports to show a bullet hole in the port cabin wall and damage to an adjacent armrest. A flydubai (FDB) spokesperson said that, after landing, “damage to the 737-800 fuselage, consistent with small arms fire was discovered. All the passengers disembarked normally through the jet bridge. Passengers from Baghdad to Dubai were accommodated on a replacement airplane. An investigation is underway to establish what happened.”

The spokesperson added that an Engineering team was now in Baghdad to assess the damage. She was unable to give more information because of the ongoing investigation.

(FDB)’s daily, Dubai to Baghdad service has been suspended until at least Sunday February 1st.

Etihad Airways (EHD) said it had “suspended all flights to [Baghdad] with immediate effect and until further notice to comply with the (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority ban on operation to and from Baghdad on security grounds.”

A brief statement on Emirates Airline (EAD)'s website said (EAD) “has suspended its service to Baghdad until further notice due to operational reasons.”

The investigation will attempt to discover if the flydubai (FDB) airplane (said to have been at around 1,800 feet when it was hit) was deliberately targeted. Iraqi officials are said to have suggested the shots may have been fired in the air as celebrations at a wedding party, a common occurrence in parts of the Middle East.

Iraqi airspace has seen several brief suspensions of airline service in recent months due to the country’s worsening security situation.

News Item A-2: Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) has become the 1st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP) to sign a cooperation agreement with the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol).

The agreement is expected to pave the way for collaboration on research and development, exchange of information, and provision of support on specific activities between both organizations across various fronts.

(DANS) provides air navigation services for Dubai’s 2 international airports and the airspace of the Northern Emirates.

The agreement will allow (DANS) exclusive access to market intelligence and information from Eurocontrol, giving the (GCC) (ANSP) “a significant edge as well as the opportunity to collaborate on cutting-edge concepts.”

1 of the 1st areas for joint activity under the new agreement is to advance research on wake vortex concepts. (DANS) has been experimenting with ways of reducing wake turbulence separation between arriving airplanes. One project, (RECAT), is re-categorizing the existing 4 wake turbulence categories into 6 new wake categories and (DANS) has been capturing wake vortex data to this end for the last 18 months. It has amassed a database of approximately 160,000 tracks showing how wake vortices behave in the Dubai environment.

Eurocontrol has been instrumental in the (RECAT) concept research and has developed a Safety Case endorsed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The agreement will enable further (RECAT) research and allow Eurocontrol to share the safety case with (DANS).

Eurocontrol Director General, Frank Brenner said: “This ground-breaking agreement between Eurocontrol and (DANS) will allow us to jointly make an important contribution to the activities that are underway in (ICAO) to define improved international wake-based separation minima, bringing safety and economic benefits to airplane manufacturers, airlines and airports such as Dubai. We believe it is an excellent example of how the different regions of the world can cooperate to drive forward a common project of benefit to all.”

(DANS) (CEO) Mohammed Abdulla Ahli said: “The aviation sector [in Dubai] has been experiencing exponential growth and development across various fronts. In order to continue moving towards further success, (DANS) has identified in its operational strategy the importance of increasing and maximizing the scope of cooperation with international organizations. As a step in the right direction, we will be collaborating on the wake vortex project, which is of tremendous importance to Dubai considering the massive air traffic increases it is witnessing at both airports.”

The 2 organizations said the agreement would be of mutual benefit and Brenner said it was supported by all 41 Eurocontrol member states.

News Item A-3: Dubai International Airport seems formally set to overtake London Heathrow Airport (LHR) as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, when year-end figures for Dubai are released January 27.

Dubai is projected to reach 71 million passengers in 2014. These are all international passengers, as no domestic United Arab Emirates (UAE) traffic uses Dubai International.

London Heathrow (LHR) recorded 68.1 million international passengers for 2014, although in terms of total passenger numbers it remains ahead of Dubai International, as a further 5.3 million domestic passengers passed through its terminals. The 73.4 million passenger total was up +1.4% on 2013.

There are airports elsewhere in the world that have higher numbers of total passengers (Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Beijing Capital airports) but these handle a higher proportion of domestic passengers.

(LHR) is increasingly capacity-constrained by its 2 runways. Successive UK governments over the past 40 years have failed to increase capacity in the crowded SE corner of the UK, whether by building a completely new hub or by allowing new runways to be built at (LHR) or Gatwick. Dubai, meanwhile, with a supportive government that sees aviation as a major driver of economic growth, has poured money into Dubai International and the new Al Maktoum International, which, in time, will be even larger.

“Britain has benefited from being home to the world’s largest port or airport for the last 350 years, connecting British business people and their exports to the world’s markets,” (LHR) (CEO) John Holland-Kaye said. “But lack of capacity at (LHR) means we have lost our crown to Dubai. “It is hard to find a serious economic player that doesn’t aspire to having what London has taken for granted, which is why Istanbul, Dubai, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Beijing are investing in their hub airports. “It’s not too late: We can have the vision and confidence to develop (LHR) into the world’s best connected airport if we take decisions now.”

A government-appointed Airports Commission is looking into the problem of capacity in SE England at present, but will not report before this May’s UK elections (and even then its findings will not be binding on whoever wins the poll).

News Item A-4: 737-8KN (40271, A6-FET), delivery.

February 2015: News Item A-1: flydubai (FDB) is significantly expanding its Iranian network with services to 5 Iranian cities set to begin over the next month.

(FDB) launched services to Tehran and Mashhad last year and has been sufficiently encouraged by early results to embark on the major expansion of services across the Persian Gulf.

Flights to Shiraz, Esfahan, and Ahwaz will commence on March 8, 11 and 14, respectively, while Hamadan and Tabriz will join the network March 16.

flydubai (FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said “6 months ago, Tehran and Mashhad joined the flydubai (FDB) network, and we have seen strong demand from travelers between these 2 cities and Dubai. The addition of flights to the 5 points increases our frequency to the Republic to 22x-weekly.”

(FDB) now operates >1,400 weekly flights to an expanding network of 94 destinations within a 6-hour flying radius from Dubai. Almost 60 points on the (FDB) network were previously under-served with few or no direct flights from Dubai.

News Item A-2: Flydubai (FDB) took delivery of its 44th Boeing 737-800 of an order for 50 placed at the Farnborough Air Show in 2008. The remaining 737s from the order will arrive at (FDB) this year. The average age of the flydubai (FDB) fleet is 3.1 years. (FDB) also has on order 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 11 more Boeing 737-800s, placed at the Dubai Airshow 2013.

March 2015: News Item A-1: Dubai-based low-cost-carrier (LCC) flydubai (FDB) posted a full-year net profit of +AED250 million/+$68 million for 2014, up +12.3% year-over-year (YOY) from (FDB)’s AED222.8 million net income in 2013. Full-year revenue was AED4.4 billion, up +18.9% (YOY).

Ancillary revenue made up 14.4% of the airline’s total annual revenue. Fuel continued to be the company’s largest expense and accounted for 36% of flydubai (FDB)’s 2014 operating expenses, down -3.5 points from 2013. 30% of flydubai (FDB)’s fuel requirements for 2015 are hedged, the company said.

Flydubai Cargo’s full-year revenue grew +11.8% (YOY). The airfreight branch secured (ACC3) (EU) certification in 2014 and plans to expand beyond current routes into Europe. The cargo carrier reported its busiest routes in 2014 were Colombo (Sri Lanka), Doha, Juba (South Sudan), Kiev, Kuwait, and Muscat (Oman).

Flydubai (FDB) reportedly carried 7.25 million passengers in 2014, up +6.3% (YOY), with the greatest rise coming from passengers to/from Central Asia (up +57% (YOY)). (FDB) added 23 new routes in 2014, increasing its network total to 86 destinations with 1,400 flights per week. 8 Boeing 737-800 NG airplanes were delivered to flydubai (FDB) in 2014; as of December 31, (FDB)’s operational fleet comprised 43 airplanes.

“Recording its profitability for the 3rd consecutive full-year, the 2014 results show that [our] recent order for more airplanes, as well as investments in the offering on the ground and in the air, have been the right strategy for the airline,” (FDB) Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

News Item A-2: flydubai (FDB) has begun the 1st stage of a significant expansion of its operations in Iran, with the start of 3x-weekly services from Dubai (DXB) to Shiraz (SYZ), situated in the SW of the country. 4 more Iranian services (to Ahwaz, Hamadan, Isfahan and Tabriz) are planned to commence. The inaugural 737-800-operated service commenced on March 8th. The 547 km city pair will face direct competition from incumbents Iran Aseman Airlines (IRC) (8x-weekly) and Iran Air (IRN) (2x-weekly).

737-8KN (40275, A6-FEV), (GEF) leased and (40276, A6-FEW), (SMBC) Aviation Capital leased.

April 2015: News Item A-1: FlyDubai (FDB) is the 6th largest operator in the Middle East in terms of fleet size.

(FDB) was founded in 2008 and has its head office and flight operations in Dubai International Airport. In 2014, it operated 38 airplanes, including Boeing 737-800s and 737 MAX 8s, but is projected to increase its fleet to 46 in 2015.

News Item A-2: Flydubai (FDB) is extending its Russian network with services to Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod. It will open both routes in the 1st week of October.

Novosibirsk will be served 3x-weekly and Nizhny Novgorod 2x-weekly. (FDB) operates a fleet of 47 Boeing 737-800s.

Flydubai (FDB) said that the expansion brings to 10 the number of destinations it will serve in Russia. Both cities, it stated, are “established economic hubs.”

(FDB) started flying to Russia in 2012 and it has gradually increased its reach. It began operations to the capital, through Moscow Vnukovo, last year.

News Item A-3: Dubai International Airport is getting a US$1.2 billion upgrade for its Terminals One and Two, as more international passengers fly through the airport.

Dubai Airports, which owns and operates Dubai International as well as the newer Al Maktoum International, provided the cost forecast.

Catering to >110 international airlines from both terminals, Dubai International's number of international passenger surpassed that of London Heathrow (LHR)'s last year.

About 70.47 million travellers passed through the Dubai airport, up +6.1% from 66.43 million in 2013. The number is forecast to reach 79 million passengers this year and 126.5 million in 2020.

Of the investment, Concourse "D" alone will account for US$517 million. When it opens later this year, the concourse will be home to 100 airlines that currently use Terminal One's Concourse "C."

It will feature 21 contact stands, of which four will be able to accommodate double-deck, wide body Airbus A380s and jumbo Boeing 747 airplanes, and 11 remote stands.

The new area will increase the airport capacity by +18 million passengers, to 90 million annually. It will be linked to Terminal One by an elevated rail system, which is expected to reduce transfer times between the 2 facilities to 2 minutes.

Compared to the breezy Terminal Three, that caters to Emirates Airline (EAD), the crowded Terminal One is also set to be upgraded. Dubai Airports is investing US$490 million in its refurbishment and in operational areas close to it and Concourse "D."

The chaotic drop-off and pickup points in front of the terminal are expected to be upgraded, as is the land-side arrivals, including new food and beverage and retail outlets.

The existing check-in and departure hall is also earmarked for a makeover. A new train station to Concourse "D" and a refurbished immigration area are also planned.

Terminal Two, which is home to flydubai (FDB) and other budget carriers, has benefited from an investment of US$163 million.

It includes a spacious check- in area with 48 counters, an expanded transfer area and +40 more immigration counters.

3 baggage carousels were added to the arrivals area, doubling the numbers to 6.

May 2015: Flydubai (FDB) took delivery of Boeing 737-8KN (40278, A6-FEX) from Avolon Leasing (AZV). This is (AZV)’s 6th airplane on lease to (FDB).

June 2015: flydubai (FDB)’s inaugural flight to Hargeisa (HGA) in Somaliland landed on June 9, marking the launch of a 4x-weekly service from its Dubai (DXB) hub.

See photo - - "FDB-2-Ghaith Al Ghaith-2015-06.jpg."

The service was originally meant to have started in March, however it was delayed for unspecified reasons. Commenting on the launch of the route, Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai (FDB) (CEO) said: “We strive to provide underserved markets with direct air links to Dubai. The addition of Hargeisa to our network will provide the Somali diaspora with the opportunity to visit their families and friends in their home country. With the interline agreements we have in place >250 destinations can now offer flights to Hargeisa through Dubai’s aviation hub.” The addition of the Hargeisa route will see (FDB) operate a total of 64x-weekly flights between Dubai and its destinations in Africa. Competition on this route comes in the form of Jubba Airways (JBW) (2x-weekly) and African Safari Airways (weekly). 2 days later, on June 11, (FDB) the low cost carrier (LCC) began operations to its 4th destination in Pakistan, Quetta (UET). As a result of these additional 3x-weekly services, flydubai (FDB) now operates 27x-weekly to Pakistan. No other airline operates on this city pair. Both new routes will be operated by (FDB)’s 737-800s.

July 2015: 737-8KN (40277, A6-FZZ), transferred to Dubai Air Wing.

September 2015: Flydubai (FDB) will begin 4x-weekly Dubai to Asmara on October 25.

737-8KN (40272, A6-FEZ), delivery.

October 2015: flydubai (FDB) launched its 1st flights from Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) on October 25. Speaking about (FDB)’s new operations, Ghaith Al Ghaith (CEO) said: “It is the same spirit that allowed us to develop significant potential for growth in the many markets within our geographic focus and now enables us to take advantage of the huge opportunity presented by (DWC). We recognise the benefits and convenience that (DWC) offers, while at the same time continuing our operations at the world renowned Dubai International. We are a young, dynamic airline and keen to increase opportunities for travel for our passengers across Dubai; (DWC) gives us that.”

On the same day flydubai (FDB)’s inaugural flight landed in the capital city of Eritrea, Asmara (ASM). The Eritrean capital becomes (FDB)’s 13th destination in East Africa and the 18th destination (FDB) has launched this year.

Dubai (DXB) to Asmara (ASM), 737-800 4x-weekly, vs Eritrean Airlines (ERI) 2x-, to Astana (TSE), 737-800 2x-, vs Air Astana (AKZ) 4x-;
Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) to Amman (AMM) 737-800 7x-, to Beirut (BEY) 737-800 7x-, to Chittagong (CGP) 737-800 7x-, to Doha (DOH) 737-800 14x-, vs Qatar Airways (QTA) 28x-, to Kuwait City (KWI) 737-800 14x-, to Muscat (MCT) 737-800 14x-.

November 2015: News Item A-1: "Dubai Air Show: Flydubai (FDB) to Keep All-economy Sub-fleet" by (ATW) Jens Flottau, November 10, 2015.

Low-cost carrier (LCC) Flydubai (FDB) plans to keep a small sub-fleet of all-economy (Y) airplanes even though its move into offering business (C) class is considered a success, according to (CEO) Gaith Al Gaith.

(FDB) has 50 Boeing 737-800s, 7 of which are in a 189-seat single-class configuration, while the rest has 12 seats in business and 162 in economy. The single-class (Y) airplanes are mostly used on labor routes with less demand for business (C) class. On the other hand, Al Gaith stresses that 65 of the 96 routes Flydubai (FDB) serves either do not have competing service or only single-class (Y) service is available.

(FDB) has 100 Boeing 737 MAXs on order which will be used for growth and replacement. (FDB)’s oldest airplane is 6 years old. “We plan to fly our airplanes for around 8 years,” Al Gaith said at the Dubai Air Show. (FDB) has no plans to get into wide body operations, even though it is “always studying” the option. “But if you ask me: It will never happen. I don’t see the logic behind it; you need to have a network,” he said.

Around 70% of Flydubai (FDB)’s business is point-to-point.

(FDB) has based 4 airplanes at Dubai World Central (DWC) serving cities that include Amman, Doha, and Beirut.

News Item A-2: Flydubai (FDB) and Indra have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement for development services to further enhance the capabilities of (FDB)’s reservations system.

February 2016: News Item A-1: Low-cost carrier (LCC) flydubai (FDB) posted +AED100.7 million/+$27.4 million net income for 2015, down -59.7% from its +AED250 million net result in 2014. (FDB)’s full-year revenue for 2015 was AED4.9 billion, up +11.4% year-over-year (YOY).

(FDB) did not release specific figures, but described its overall yield as “under pressure attributable to the strong dollar,” along with other factors including “[a] challenging trading environment disruption from the suspension of flights on some established routes, and a large number of recently launched routes with a lead time required to reach maturity.”

Flydubai (FDB) took delivery of 8 new Boeing 737-800s in 2015, bringing its fleet total to 50. In 2015, (FDB) launched 18 new routes including destinations in Eritrea (Asmara), India (Chennai), Iran (Shiraz), Kazakhstan (Astana), Pakistan (Quetta) and Saudi Arabia (Giza and Al Jouf). In October 2015, flydubai (FDB) started operations at Al Maktoum International Dubai World Central airport with service to Jordan (Amman and Beirut), Nepal (Kathmandu), and Kuwait. “The overall trading environment has remained challenging but we maintained our growth and ended the year positively,” (FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said. 2015 was (FDB)’s 4th consecutive year of profitability.

(FDB) carried 9.04 million passengers on its network in 2015, up +24.9% (YOY).

Cargo revenues “remain strong,” (FDB) said, with 40,441 tons carried during the year, but actual monetary figures were not released.

Flydubai (FDB) expects to take delivery of 16 new airplanes in the next 2 years, including 5 737 MAX 8s due to arrive in the latter half of 2017. (FDB) plans to retire 7 airplanes during the period.

News Item A-2: Dubai International kept its position as the world's busiest airport for international passengers for the 2nd year, after traffic was >78 million in 2015.

Aided by 100 airlines that connect the airport to 240 destinations around the world, the airport traffic increased by +10.7% in 2015 over the 70.4 million recorded in 2014.

In December alone, passenger numbers reached 7.05 million, an increase of +8.5% over the 6.49 million passengers that passed through the airport in August of 2014. On average, monthly traffic for the year was at 6.5 million. But since August, the monthly traffic has exceeded the 7 million mark consecutively.

Last year, new airlines started flying to Dubai International including Air Canada (ACN) from Toronto, Eurowings (EWG) from Amsterdam, and China Southern (GUN) from Wuhan. Additionally, around 12 new destinations were added by the airport's designated carrier Emirates (EAD) and flydubai (FDB), its sister low cost carrier (LCC).

Moving ahead, the airport is preparing to open its newest facility, the US$1.2 billion Concourse D, which is slated to open this quarter. "The facility will play a crucial role in helping us welcome millions of passengers," said Paul Griffiths, (CEO) of Dubai Airport.

However, Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, said: "There will of course be greater pressure to ensure that not only is there a smooth opening of the new concourse, but the wider (UAE) policy makers will have to weigh up opening of more military airspace for commercial usage."

"It is this which will allow Dubai to truly unlock the growth potential at Al Maktoum International Airport [Dubai's new airport], particularly as the current airport looks primed to reach the 100 million passenger goal ahead of its target in 2020, based on current growth rates."

March 2016: News Item A-1: ACCDT: A flyDubai 737-8KN crashed on landing at the S Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, killing all 55 passengers and 7 crew ((FC) & (CA) on board Flight FZ981.

Vasiliy Golubev, the Governor of the Rostov region some 600 miles south of Moscow, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying the airplane crashed about 800 feet short of the runway during high winds (30 to 50 mph at the time of the crash). The airplane caught fire after the crash. The airplane missed 1 approach, entered a holding pattern, then tried to land again, before crashing.

* Later report:

USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Boeing (TBC) investigators have joined a Russian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) team at the Rostov-on-Don Airport to establish what caused Flydubai (FDB) flight 981, a Boeing 737-800, to crash after a 2nd attempt at landing on Runway 22 in the early morning hours of March 19 in low clouds and heavy winds.

All 55 passengers and 7 crew members perished in the crash, which the small debris field—and at least 1 surveillance video—made clear was the result of a steep descent into the ground.

According to updates by the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), investigators have “begun deciphering and analyzing” information from the badly damaged flight data recorder, and as of March 20, were attempting to retrieve data from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The team is also reviewing radar data, crew dispatcher information and weather conditions.

Crowd sourced tracking site FlightRadar24 surveillance data showed that FZ981 had aborted its first approach to Rostov approximately 4.5 hr after its departure from Dubai. Data show that the airplane descended to approximately 1,500 ft on the Runway 22 instrument landing system (ILS) approach before the abort, well above the minimum descent altitude of 200 ft above the runway.

It is possible that windshear conditions, which the approach chart states can be “expected on the final” approach to the runway, may have played a role in the unsuccessful approaches. Wind at the airport was approximately 25 kt and gusting to 35 kt or more, but relatively aligned with the runway, reducing the potential for crosswind control issues. The 737 climbed to 8,000 ft and entered a holding pattern for >30 minutes before climbing further to 15,000 ft and entering a holding pattern, where it remained for >1 hr before attempting a 2nd (ILS) approach.

A copy of the air traffic control (ATC) recording, reportedly from the accident airplane, revealed the flight crew (FC) had called approach controllers multiple times during the holding pattern to discuss whether the visibility and wind conditions were improving. FlightRadar24 data showed an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 had tried 3 times to land at Rostov while the FZ981 was holding, ultimately deciding to fly to an alternate airport. It is not clear why FZ981 did not do the same.

On the (ATC) recording, voices from the cockpit appear to be calm throughout the 2nd approach, informing the tower controller of a missed approach as the airplane descended through approximately 1,500 ft, again well above the minimum altitude for the approach.

Soon after, the 737-800 began climbing toward a holding altitude of 8,000 ft, but when passing through approximately 4,000 ft, the nose pointed down and the airplane entered a steep descent that reached 21,000 ft per min, according to the FlightRadar24 data.

From the recovered flight data recorder information, the (IAC) said pilots (FC) were hand-flying the airplane on the first approach. When descending through approximately 1,000 ft, they received a wind shear alert and performed a go-around, climbing to a higher altitude and holding in the hopes that the weather would improve. The (IAC) said the pilots (FC) held valid pilot licenses and “other pertinent papers,” had “sufficient flight experience” and had undergone the required training.

Approximately 90 minutes after the 1st approach, the pilots (FC) attempted a 2nd hand-flown approach to Runway 22, but decided to abort when descending through approximately 700 ft, 2 nm from the runway end. The pilots (FC) initiated a go-around with full takeoff power, according to the (IAC).

Surveillance video from multiple locations around the airport shows flight 981 climbing into the overcast cloud deck and reemerging 34 sec later in a high-speed, steep nose-down attitude, impacting the ground close to the intended landing point.

The flight data recorder (FDR) filled in some of the blanks: The airplane climbed to approximately 2,950 ft, where “there was a simultaneous control column nose-down input and a stabilizer 5-deg nose-down deflection, resulting in (an) abrupt descent” with a -1g vertical acceleration.

“The following crew actions to recover did not allow (the airplane) to avoid and impact with the ground,” the (IAC) said, adding that the final speed was 323 kt with a 50-deg nose-down pitch attitude.

The (IAC) in its March 29 update said the flight data recorder did no show evidence of any failures of airplane systems, components or engines.

In addition to “clarifying the content” of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), from which investigators recovered 2 hr of recordings, the (IAC) said airline pilots (FC) and test pilots (FC) from Russia, the USA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are assessing the flight data and actions of the flight crew (FC).

See attached - - "FDB-2016-03 -ACCDT-737-800.jpg."

News Item A-2: Dubai-based low-cost-carrier (LCC) flydubai (FDB) will transfer more flights to Al Maktoum International, Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) to create additional slots for Emirates Airline (EAD) at the congested Dubai International Airport (DXB), Emirates (EAD) President, Tim Clark said.

April 2016: "ACCDT: Flydubai Crash Investigators Suggest Pilot Go-around Errors" by (ATW) John Croft, April 20, 2016.

Russian’s Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) has issued 5 “prompt” safety recommendations in its interim report on the crash of Flydubai (FDB) flight 981, a Boeing 737-800 that plunged into the ground after a 2nd missed approach at the Rostov-on-Don airport early on the morning of March 19, killing all 62 aboard.

* Potential disorientation

Four of the recommendations address pilot (FC) actions and potential disorientation during go-arounds (or missed approaches) with both engines operating near the end of a flight, when airplane weight is lower and the engines provide more acceleration. A 5th recommendation calls for Boeing 737-800 operators to take note of the findings.

The early recommendations hint that disorientation, as a result of the dynamic maneuver (a full-power go-around with both engines operating and low airplane weight after six hours of flying) could have played a major role in the crash. Fatigue or circadian rhythm issues could also be involved, given the airplane was attempting the second landing at approximately 3:30 am local time.

* Flight recorders

Based on flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) information, an international team of investigators determined that the flight crew (FC) abandoned the second instrument landing system approach to Runway 22 at a height of 722 ft, then climbed to steeply to approximately 3,280 ft before entering a steep dive and crashing 400 ft past the threshold of Runway 22.

What happened during that climb will be key to solving the mystery. Data shows pilots (FC) may have initiated the second abort, due to an abrupt 20 kt increase in indicated airspeed, possibly signaling wind shear. The pilots (FC) in response, set maximum power to the engines, raised the landing gear and began climbing at approximately 4,000 ft/min. Investigators said the final portion of both approaches had been flown with the autopilot and autothrottle systems turned off, but the flight director turned on. The flight director provides a visual indication on the primary flight display of how the pilot (FC) should control the airplane to follow a pre-programmed course.

At a height of 1,900 ft, with a pitch attitude of 18 degrees nose-up, the pilot-flying pushed forward on the control column, causing the flaps, which had been set at 15 degrees, to automatically retract to 10 degrees to prevent over-speed damage. After a reduction in power, the crew (FC) then restored full power and the pilot (FC)-flying pulled back on the control column resulting in a climb rate of about 3,200 ft/min.

At approximately 3,000 ft height, investigators said there was a “simultaneous” control column nose-down input and stabilizer nose-down deflection. Pilots (FC) use the control column to deflect the elevator while an electrical switch on the control column can be used to move the stabilizer to provide trim control. The (FDR) showed that the stabilizer nose-down trim control input lasted 12 seconds, and the (CVR) verified the sound of the trim system in motion. The combination of control inputs resulted in a -1G push-over, that resulted in a steep dive from which the crew (FC) did not recover.

* Additional training on go-arounds

Two recommendations call for airlines to provide “additional training,” including simulator scenarios, on go-arounds with 2 engines operating from various heights and lower airplane weights.

The (IAC) also wants airlines to study the safety recommendations it issued after the November 2013 crash of a Tatarstan Airlines (TAK) Boeing 737-500 at Kazan, and the May 2006 crash of an Armavia Airbus (ARM) A320 near Sochi. Both crashes involved crew (FC) mistakes, in part caused by higher than normal accelerations caused by two-engine go-arounds. Potential illusions include somatogravic illusions, which can lead a pilot (FC) to believe that forward acceleration is causing the airplane to pitch up steeply.

Another recommendation calls on airlines to analyze recommendations made by the French safety agency (BEA) in its August 2013 Aeroplane State Awareness during Go-Around (Asaga) study.

(BEA) concluded that pilots (FC) are ill-prepared for go-arounds, relatively rare events, where many actions must be completed in a short time, leaving little margin for error in handling automation and control of the airplane. Failure to handle either can lead to a loss of control.

Along with calling for somatogravic illusions to be incorporated into simulators, the (BEA) also recommended more training for go-arounds, particularly with both engines operating, and installation of devices to limit thrust during go-arounds.

July 2016: News Item A-1: "GE Aviation And Flydubai Develop New Digital App On Predix" by MRO-Network.com July 2016.

(GE) Aviation (GEC) unveiled one of the 1st digital customer solutions built on its Predix software platform, an application developed through a collaboration with flydubai (FDB).

(GEC) worked with (FDB) on the network operations insights application at its first data analytics center in Dubai, which was opened last year. (FDB) implemented the platform at the end of June and will use it across its all-737 fleet to minimize airplane delays, improve pilot (FC) operational understanding and manage scheduling and revenues in a real-time setting.

Along with the center in Dubai, the USA engine specialist opened its second data collaboration center in Paris in mid-June, which it will run in conjunction with (GE) Digital. It plans to open +2 more centers this year; the first in Shanghai on July 20 which will also be operated in conjunction with (GE)’s digital business and the other in Austin, Texas later this summer, which (GE) Aviation (GEC) will run independently as its digital headquarters for aviation.

Jim Daily, (GEC)’s VP & Chief Digital Officer for Engineering & Technology, said the engine maker would ideally like to set up another collaboration center in Southeast Asia in 2017, with the exact location still to be decided.

“When looking at the region and where our customers are, it makes sense to put a center there,” Daily said. “Ideally I’d like to identify a specific location this year before setting up sometime in 2017.”

Daily also revealed that (GE)’s aviation arm is exploring ways to further grow its ties with (GE) Digital with opportunities for crossover collaborations through its Predix platform. “We’re trying to do as much as we can in conjunction with (GE) Digital. While there are instances unique to aviation, there’s also room for a lot of crossover and the Predix platform was designed with this mind,” he said.

August 2016: 737-8KN (60957, A6-FGD) delivery.

February 2017: News Item A-1: flydubai (FDB) posted a 2016 net income of +AED31.6 million/+$8.6 million for 2016, down -69% from net income of +AED100.7 million in 2015.

Full-year revenue for 2016 was AED5 billion, up +2.4% year-over-year (YOY). (FDB) did not release specific figures, but described a stronger 2nd half, driven by increased passenger numbers. Flydubai (FDB) said it was “impacted by downward pressure on yield, leading to lower overall revenue growth, reflecting a continuation of the same adverse factors reported in the 1st half.”

Flydubai (FDB) Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the results “see (FDB) report its 5th consecutive full-year of profitability.”

(FDB) carried 10.4 million passengers in 2016, up +14.4% (YOY). “Over the last 2 years, we have seen passenger traffic grow cumulatively by +52% in terms of (RPK)s. The continuation of mainly lower fuel prices and ongoing cost management efforts are reflected in the +16% improvement in terms of (ASK)s over the last 2 years. We have, however, seen a difficult pricing and operating environment,” (FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

Flydubai (FDB) said that “fuel costs were 25% of operating costs compared to 30.6% in the previous year, against a backdrop of lower fuel prices for the year, with legacy fuel hedges impacting only 21% of the volume for full year 2016.”

Ancillary revenue (comprising baggage, cargo and in-flight sales) contributed 13.8% of revenue, down from 15.1% in 2015.

In 2016, (FDB) took delivery of 8 Boeing 737-800s to support network expansion. The average age of the fleet was 3 years, 8.5 months. “During the course of the year, increased flight frequency on existing routes and a maturing in the performance of the 41 new routes launched in 2014 and 2015 saw (ASKM) grow by +9%,” (FDB) said.

In October 2015, flydubai (FDB) started operations at Al Maktoum International (Dubai World Central (DWC)). Since then, (FDB), the (LCC) has been operating from 2 gateways in Dubai and will continue to gradually increase its operations at (DWC) based on the further expansion of the airport, as well as create additional slots for Emirates Airline (EAD) at the congested Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Flydubai (FDB) said it continues to support the investigation of flydubai (FDB) FZ981, a Boeing 737 that crashed on in Rostov-on-Don airport (Russia) on March 19, 2016, killing 55 passengers and 7 crew members.

Looking to the year ahead, (FDB) will be the 1st airline in the Middle East to receive Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes, which will begin to enter service in the (2H).

(FDB) said overall capacity “will not grow during 2017, as short-term capacity needs are adjusted, due to the ongoing challenging operating environment.” In line with (FDB)’s fleet planning strategy to maintain a young fleet, (FDB) said it will “see the 8-year lease term expire for 4 next-generation 737-800s and during the year these airplanes will be retired from the fleet.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith said, “We will remain prudent throughout 2017. Yields will remain under pressure and we expect to report flat growth in the year ahead.”

News Item A-2: Flydubai (FDB) selected (PROS) to help execute its revenue management strategies. Cloud-based (PROS) Origin & Destination will help (FDB) optimize network revenue using market trends, demand behavior and proactive analysis.

737-8KN (60962, A6-FGI), ex-(N1786B) delivery.

April 2017: flydubai (FDB) said it will launch new seasonal flights from Dubai to Batumi (Georgia), Qabala (Azerbaijan) and Tivat (Montenegro). The new services will operate from June to September 2017, expanding its network to 93 destinations in 44 countries.

(CEO) (FDB) Ghaith Al Ghaith said the decision to launch the seasonal routes to complement its existing network “is a direct response to customer feedback.” The majority of (FDB)’s passengers travel point to point. “Connecting passengers are able to benefit from our interline agreements, which provide opportunities for onward travel to >200 destinations,” Senior VP Commercial Jeyhun Efendi said.

Flydubai (FDB) also said 48 out of 58 Boeing 737-800 airplanes are now equipped with Wi-Fi and Live TV services.

(FDB) posted a 2016 net income of +AED31.6 million/+$8.6 million for 2016, down -69% from net income of +AED100.7 million in 2015. Full-year revenue for 2016 was AED5 billion, up +2.4% year-over-year.

July 2017: "Emirates, flydubai to Partner."

Dubai-based giant Emirates Airline (EAD) and local low-cost carrier (LCC) flydubai (FDB) have announced an “extensive partnership agreement,” including network and schedule coordination, although they will continue to be managed independently.

August 2017: A combination of yield pressure and seasonality were some of the factors behind hybrid carrier flydubai (FDB) recording a loss of -AED142 million/-$38.8 million for (1H) 2017.

(FDB) Senior VP Finance Arbind Kumar said (FDB) was continuing to focus its efforts on 3 main areas: * improvements in cost performance, * network optimization and * a broadening of its distribution channels to improve the situation.

(FDB) traditionally has a stronger 2nd half, he added: “Knowing that we have faced a similar seasonality and trend in previous years, we will move ahead cautiously, but strong in the knowledge that there remains much untapped opportunity. During the 1st 6 months of this year, we have seen pressure on both yield and cost.”

(FDB) did not disclose whether the loss figure was a net, pre-tax or (EBITDA) figure, but recorded a net loss of -AED89.9 million for the same period last year. The result was made on total revenue of AED2.5 billion, up +9.9% on the same period in 2016.

Passenger numbers were up +10.5% at 5.4 million compared to the corresponding period last year. Business (C)-class passenger numbers rose +22%. However, not all of flydubai (FDB)’s airplanes have a business (C)-class section and those that do, have just 12C business seats and 162Y in economy.

Capacity, measured in (ASK)s, rose +7.9%, while (RPK)s rose +18.9%. Flydubai (FDB) is continuing to expand its network, notably to Russia, where it now serves 10 points (Dubai is a popular holiday location for Russians), together with other new destinations in Bangladesh, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Montenegro.

In the (1H), (FDB) received the last 2 of its order for 54 Boeing 737-800s and the 1st of its 2013 order for 75 737 MAX 8s. (FDB) said it was scheduled to receive 6 737 MAX 8s by the end of the year, with service entry in (4Q).

November 2017: News Item A-1: flydubai (FDB) launched a 737-800 service to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) on November 29, marking the start of a new daily route from (FDB)’s 2nd point in Moscow. With existing operations to Moscow Vnukovo, (FDB) is now offering 14x-weekly flights to Moscow from its Dubai (DXB) hub.

Earlier this autumn, (FDB) launched flights to Makhachkala and Voronezh, resumed services to Ufa and increased capacity on existing routes: Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg. Denis Pashkovskiy, Deputy General Director, Commercial Activities at the Russian airport said: “Sheremetyevo is pleased to welcome flydubai (FDB), the new partner from the (UAE).

Partnering with (FDB) will be mutually beneficial and will open new opportunities for passengers and customers.” Jeyhun Efendi, (FDB) Senior VP Commercial (UAE), (EU), (ME), (CIS) said: “Partnering with Sheremetyevo was a strategic decision as (FDB) will be the 1st (UAE) airline to offer direct scheduled services from Dubai to the busiest airport in Russia. Next year passengers from Sheremetyevo will be among the 1st to enjoy our new 737 MAX 8 airplane, as we are the 1st airline in our region to take delivery of this newest airplane type.”

Aeroflot (ARO) provides direct competition (3x-daily) on the airport pair, with Emirates (EAD), Azur Air (KKU) and Ural Airlines (URL) offering indirect competition from Moscow Domodedovo, and Rossiya Airlines (SDM) flying 2x-weekly from Moscow Vnukovo. In addition, Red Wings Airlines (RWZ) operates 2x-weekly from Domodedovo to Dubai Al Maktoum.

News Item A-2: flydubai (FDB) signed a landmark agreement for 225 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, with a list price value of $27 billion, at the Dubai Air Show. According to Boeing (TBC), the deal represents the largest-ever single-aisle jet order (by number of airplanes and total value) from a Middle East carrier. The transaction includes a commitment for 175 MAX airplanes, plus purchase rights for 50 more.

December 2017: News Item A-1: "FlyDubai (FDB) Firms Order for Up to 225 737 MAXs" by (ATW) Mark Nensel mark.nensel@informa.com December 21, 2017.

FlyDubai (FDB) firmed its order for 175 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes (including options for an additional 50 737 MAXs) on December 21, a $27 billion list price booking that Boeing (TBC) claims as the “largest single-aisle order [by number of aircraft and total value] in Middle East history.”

(FDB) originally committed to the purchase at the Dubai Air Show in November. (FDB) (CEO) Ghaith Al Ghaith said it is the largest order in (FDB)’s 8 year history, surpassing (FDB)’s 2013 booking of 75 737 MAXs and 11 737-800s. 5 737 MAXs from the 2013 order have been delivered to-date. Flydubai (FDB) placed its 1st order with Boeing in 2008, ordering 50 Next-Generation 737-800s. As of mid-November, (FDB) had taken delivery of 63 737-800s.

The new order brings (FDB)’s 737 MAX airplane backlog up to potentially 296 airplanes. “We have become one of the world’s top 10 airlines in terms of order backlog,” Al Ghaith said, adding the new airplanes will continue to “enhance the connectivity of Dubai’s aviation hub.”

>50 of the 175 airplanes in the new order will be 737 MAX 10s, with the remaining balance split between 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9s.

All of (FDB)’s 737 MAX jets will be powered by (CFM) International (LEAP-1B) engines, Boeing said. (TBC) has logged 640 net 737 MAX orders in 2017 year-to-date.

News Item A-2: Flydubai (FDB) began 6x-weekly Dubai to Kilimanjaro Boeing 737 MAX 8 service.

News Item A-3: Flydubai (FDB) will launch weekly flights from Dubai to Krakow April 8, 2018 and to Catania June 13, 2018.

February 2018: News Item A-1: Flydubai (FDB) will launch daily Dubai to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) capital Kinshasa from April 15.

News Item A-2: Dubai Airports has confirmed plans to close Dubai International Airport’s (DXB) southern runway (12R-30L) for a 45-day period in 2019. It cited necessary upgrade work to strengthen and resurface the runway (1 of 2 at the airport) and adjacent taxiways. The work is scheduled to take place from April 16 to May 30, 2019, when (DXB) believes there will be lower passenger traffic than at other times of the year. Nevertheless, airlines will be required to reduce their operations to (DXB) over the 45-day period. The runway work will cause a significant capacity reduction resulting from single runway operations.

The "Gulf Daily News" reported the runway is nearing the end of its design life. (DXB) handles >1,100 aircraft movements per day. “While we regret any inconvenience this may cause to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are absolutely necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future growth,” Dubai Airports (CEO) Paul Griffiths said.

In terms of flight movements, the reduction in capacity is estimated to be approximately 43% during the 45-day period.

Dubai World Central (DWC) will be an available alternative airport to absorb affected scheduled flights as well as charter, cargo and general aviation operations.

(DXB), which handled 88.2 million passengers in 2017, is the home base of Emirates Airline (EAD) and (LCC) flydubai (FDB).

April 2018: News Item A-1: "Flydubai Expands European Network" by Kurt Hofmann (hofmann.aviation@netway.at), April 13, 2018.

flydubai (FDB) has expanded its European network by launching 4x-weekly Dubai to Dubrovnik (Croatia) seasonal services through October 25, as well as Dubai to Krakow (Poland) flights. In June, (FDB) will launch services to Catania (Italy) and Thessaloniki Greece).

As a result of the new services, (FDB)’s European network will offer a total of 26 destinations with 135 weekly flights operating to Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.

(FDB) Senior VP Commercial Operations (UAE, Middle East, Europe & (CIS)) Jeyhun Efendi said the new Dubrovnik service “reflects (FDB)’s commitment to open up 71 previously underserved markets on our network of >90 destinations.”

Emirates Airline (EAD) will code share on the Dubrovnik route as part of the Emirates - flydubai partnership announced in July 2017.

(EAD) President Sir Tim Clark said the partnership is producing “very good flows between the 2 carriers, and we hope that will be expanded. We are stripping out overlaps where it is making sense for both of us.” Clark added that rationalization is going on the next 18 months to 2 years. “We see that energizing and hopefully this will bring much more business for both of us,” he said.

* "Emirates (EAD), flydubai (FDB) Expanded Partnership has Growing Passenger Interest" by Alan Dron (alandron@adepteditorial.co), April 25, 2018.

>400,000 passengers took advantage of the extended partnership between Dubai-based Emirates Airline (EAD) and (LCC) flydubai (FDB) from October 2017 to March 2018, with another 250,000 planning to do so, according to (FDB).

The partnership began with code share flights to 29 cities, but has quickly expanded as customers took advantage of expanded access to destinations on a single ticket and checking in their baggage through to the final destination, (FDB) said.

(EAD) services 141 passenger destinations, while (FDB) flies to 97, 80 of which are not served by (EAD).

New code share flights recently launched include Krakow (Poland), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), with more destinations expected in the coming months including Catania (Italy), Thessaloniki (Greece) and Helsinki (Finland).

The Helsinki service, to be operated by (FDB) with its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes, will be the 1st time Finland has been served directly from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with scheduled services.

(FDB) made the announcement at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai April 22. “We remain committed to opening up previously underserved markets and to providing more travel options to fly to Dubai and beyond,” flydubai (FDB) (CCO) Hamad Obaidalla said.

The 2-class 737 MAX 8 will have lie-flat seats in business (C) class and a seat back (IFE) system.

News Item A-2: flydubai (FDB) launched 4x-weekly Dubai to Dubrovnik (Croatia) seasonal services through October 25; as well as Dubai to Krakow (Poland) service.

October 2018: "Flydubai to Operate 39 routes from (DWC) during (DXB) Runway Closure" by Kurt Hofmann (hofmann.aviation@netway.at), October 11, 2018.

Flydubai (FDB) will operate 39 routes to select destinations from Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) during the 45-day runway closure in 2019 at Dubai International Airport’s (DXB) of southern runway (12R-30L).

The refurbishment project is scheduled to take place from April 16 to May 30, 2019.

During this period, flights to 10 of 39 destinations will also be available from (DXB). Flights to other (FDB) destinations will continue to operate from (DXB). (FDB) serves a total of 92 destinations. (DXB) handles >1,100 airplane movements per day and the 45-day runway closure is estimated to cause a 43% reduction in capacity.

Emirates (EAD) President Sir Tim Clark said recently that all carriers will be affected by this closure, but (EAD) and (FDB) “will take the biggest hit simply because it is our base, our hub.”

Following the completion of the runway enhancement project on May 30, 2019, (FDB) will resume its flights to these 39 destinations from (DXB). The runway closure coincides with Ramadan, where travel falls off considerably and is the lowest month for international air travel.
The necessary upgrade work includes strengthening and resurfacing the runway (1 of 2 at the airport) and adjacent taxiways.

November 2018: "Flydubai Begins Helsinki 737 MAX Services" by Kurt Hofmann (hofmann.aviation@netway.at), November 2, 2018.

flydubai (FDB) launched daily Dubai to Helsinki (Finland) Boeing 737 MAX 8 services on October 24. The new route is a code share with Dubai-based Emirates Airline (EAD) and part of an extensive partnership agreement.

Starting December 2, flights to Helsinki along with several (FDB)’s European routes (including Bucharest (Romania), Krakow (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), Zagreb (Croatia)) will operate from Dubai International (DXB) Terminal 3 (T3).

In July, (FDB) announced the move from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 for selected flights.

The 1st (FDB)/(EAD) code share flight began in October 2017. Since then, the code share network has expanded to 80 destinations and the combined network is on track to reach 240 destinations by 2022.

Other (FDB) services will continue to operate from (DXB) Terminal 2 and Dubai World Central (DWC).

Emirates (EAD) President Sir Tim Clark said recently that the plan to bring (FDB) to its southern concourses (T3) may take until 2022 to 2023. “There will be seamless connectivity for our passengers and we are very optimistic that makes a lot of sense,” he said.

Clark said there is terminal capacity available during weaker time periods. “We are extracting value out of what we have today. We are making more use of the aprons and taxiways. During some of the times during the day, terminals are nearly empty, but get full the next hour. This time in between should create better utilization of terminal capacity,” he said.


Click below for photos:
FDB-737 A6-FMB-2017-09 Renton.jpg
FDB-737 MAX 8 - 1st 2017-08.jpg
FDB-737 MAX 8 - 2013-11
FDB-737 MAX 8 2018-09.jpg
FDB-737 MAX 8 A6-FMD 2018-10.jpg
FDB-737-800 - 44TH 2015-02.jpg
FDB-737-8KN - 2012-02

November 2018:

57 737-8KN (CFM56-7B-26/3) (2794-35794, /09 A6-FDA - - SEE PHOTO - - "FDB-737-8KN-2009-05;" 2829-35795, /09 6-FDB; 2952-40233, /09 A6-FDC; 2966-40234, /09 A6-FDD; 3053-40235, /09 A6-FDE; 3110-40236, /09 A6-FDF; 3485-40240, A6-FDM, 2010-12; 3540-40242, A6-FDO, 2011-01; 40244, A6-FDQ, 2011-04; 40249, A6-FDU, 2011-08; 40251, A6-FDX; 40252, A6-FDY, 2012-01 3923-40252, A6-FDY, 2012-01; 40254, A6-FEA, 2012-07; 40258, A6-FEE, 2013-04; 40262, A6-FEJ, 2013-12; 40270, A6-FES, 2014-12; 40271, A6-FET, 2015-01; 40272, A6-FEZ, 2015-09; 5492-40277, A6-FZZ; 40278, A6-FEX, 2015-05; 40281, A6-FEG, 2013-07; 40282, A6-FEK, 2013-12; 60957, A6-FGD, 2016-08; 60962, A6-FGI, 2017-02), WITH WINGLETS. 40234; LEASED TO (TAV) AS (PH-FDD) FOR SUMMER SEASON 2012. 40277, TRANSFERRED TO DUBAI AIR WING 2015-07. 189Y.

4 737-8KN (CFM56-7B-26/3) (3197-29636, /10 A6-FDG; 31765, A6-FDI, 2010-06; 40237, A6-FDJ, 2010-10), (BBB) LEASED, WITH WINGLETS. 189Y, OR 12C, 162Y.

2 737-8KN (CFM56-7B-26/3) (40246, A6-FDS; 40247, A6-FDT), AVOLON LEASING GROUP (AZV) LEASED 2011-06. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.

1 737-8KN (CFM56-7B-26/3) (40275, A6-FEV), (GEF) LEASED 2015-03. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.

1 737-8KN (CFM56-7B-26/3) (40276, A6-FEW), (SMBC) AVIATION CAPITAL LEASED 2015-03. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.

2 737-800 (CFM56-7B-26/3) (3517-40241, A6-FDN, 2011-01), (GEF) LEASED.



63 ORDERS 737 MAX 8 (LEAP-1B):

62 ORDERS 737 MAX 9 (LEAP-1B):

50 ORDERS 737 MAX 10 (LEAP-1B):

5 737 MAX 8 (LEAP-1B).


Click below for photos:
FDB-2-Ghaith Al Ghaith - 2015-06.jpg



KENNETH GILE, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO), EX-(SKS) (2008-08) (ken.gile@flydubai.com).
Captain Ken Gile joined flydubai (FDB) from Skybus Airlines (SKS), an American low cost carrier (LCC), where he was President & Chief Operating Officer (COO) for 4 years. Before that, Captain Gile worked in a variety of positions at Southwest Airlines (SWA) over a period of 25 years, including Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations. As (COO) of flydubai (FDB), Captain Gile will be responsible for the day to day running of the airline and have specific responsibility for strategic planning, in-flight services, ground operations, flight operations, maintenance and engineering, as well as acting as the Director of Operations.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, (CEO) of flydubai (FDB), said: "I am delighted to announce the appointment of Captain Ken Gile to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of flydubai (FDB). Ken has a wealth of experience working with low cost carriers and we are proud to have been able to attract him to Dubai to work with (FDB). Ken's experience will be invaluable in getting (FDB) off the ground. "This is our 1st appointment and a very important 1 for us. Now that we have made this key appointment, we can move forward with the work of getting (FDB) ready to begin commercial operations in mid 2009."

Captain Gile, said: "I am honored to have been given the chance to get involved with (FDB) in such an early stage in its development. This is a very exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to contributing to the success of (FDB). "I have worked in aviation my whole career, and much of that time has been spent working with low cost carriers, so I believe I have a lot to offer (FDB). The (FDB) business model is strong and we are working hard to assemble an unbeatable product and a top class team of individuals. I am confident (FDB) is going to be an extremely successful airline and I am proud to be a part of it."

Captain Gile started his career in the US Airforce. After 6 years in the military, he moved to Jeddah with Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA). Captain Gile then returned to the USA, where he joined (SWA) as a Pilot (FC) and worked his way up the ranks to become Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations.

Captain Gile is married with 3 grown up children and 7 grandchildren.





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