Dubai–based low cost carrier flydubai has started operating flights to Chennai, its eighth destination in India, the airline said in a statement.
The carrier will operate three flights per week to the South Indian city, bringing the total number of weekly flydubai flights between Dubai and India to 29.
“The addition of Chennai to our network will provide the opportunity to travellers to visit Dubai more often and explore the flydubai network which we are already seeing from our other points in India,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO at flydubai.
“It will also provide the opportunity to connect, with the interline agreements we have in place, onwards through Dubai’s aviation hub.”
New services to India, a strong market for airlines, are always coveted as the country allocates a limited number of seats to foreign carriers.
But with the Indian aviation sector gradually opening up to foreign investors, airlines are looking to cash in on the growing market.
In line with that, flydubai added four more routes to Delhi, Kochin, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram last year.
“Flydubai sees India as a key market on its network,” said Sudhir Sreedharan, senior vice president, Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent, Africa) at flydubai.
“With the launch of four new points in India in 2014, flydubai saw a 70 per cent growth in passenger numbers and we are confident that this will significantly contribute to the growth of not only trade and tourism between the two countries but across the region.”
The unlisted carrier also connects a vast majority of passengers from Indian market to other destinations via Dubai.
Almost 55 per cent of the overall passenger traffic from India connected onwards, according to flydubai’s statistics for the past 12 months.
Abha, Bahrain, Jeddah, Kiev, Kuwait and Moscow are some of the popular connections for passengers travelling from India.