Dubai-based airline flydubai has started operations from Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central from Sunday, October 25 as it seeks to grow its network.
Flydubai will begin services to destinations such as Amman, Beirut, Chittagong, Doha, Kathmandu, Kuwait and Muscat from DWC and is expected to operate roughly over 70 flights per week from the new airport.
Flights to these destinations will continue to be available from Dubai International Airport as well, the airline earlier said.
The new operations from DWC are aimed at helping the airline continue its growth as it takes delivery of more than 100 new Boeing aircraft by 2023. The carrier also aims to reach over 100 destinations by 2016.
Chief executive officer of flydubai Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We recognise the benefits and convenience that DWC offers, whilst 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.”
The move will not only allow the airline to continue its expansion, but it’ll also appeal to residents beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi, opined StrategicAero Research. com aviation analyst Saj Ahmad.
Al Maktoum International Airport was opened in 2013 to ease the capacity constraints at Dubai International Airport.
Air traffic has been slow to pick up at the new terminal, but a massive $32bn expansion, approved last year, could prompt more carriers to shift their operations there.
“Flydubai’s foray for growth via Dubai World Central will certainly see a more pressing need to rapidly develop Al Maktoum International Airport so that the airline can capitalise on the capacity that will be made available there,” added Ahmad.
Flydubai announced last week that it made a loss of Dhs 147.4m during the first half of the year, compared to a profit of Dhs 53.1m in H1 2014.
The airline blamed the loss on suspension of routes to Yemen, Iraq and Ukraine and a drop in demand on Russian routes. However it confirmed that the losses have been “fully recovered” during the third quarter of 2015.
“The political angst in key markets like Russia are behind the demand changes, however, flydubai’s unique hybrid business class and low cost fare cabins allow market penetration across its network to capture both high yield and high volume passengers,” added Ahmad.