Saturday, 25 January, 2020

Flydubai’s new routes to target five cities in Iran

The budget carrier flydubai is expanding its network in Iran with services to five new cities from next month. The new services to Dubai comes as the competitor Iran Air languishes under sanctions. The airline said yesterday that it would start flying to Shiraz, Isfahan and Ahwaz from March 8, 11 and 14, respectively, while flights to Hamadan and Tabriz will commence from March 16. The carrier started operations to Tehran and Mashhad in 2014. Ghaith Al Ghaith, the chief executive of flydubai, said that adding the new Iranian destinations was a result of the strong demand from travelers between the two countries. “The addition of flights to the five points increases our frequency to the Islamic Republic [of Iran] to 23 flights weekly, allowing more people to travel conveniently between the UAE and Iran.”

Flydubai, which started operations in 2009, focuses on destinations within a five-hour distance from Dubai. Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research said that Iran was “a huge market” with massive growth potential. “Plus the big trade links between the UAE and Iran make an ample target for flydubai.” Currently, flydubai flies to 94 destinations and operates a fleet of 44 aircraft. The airline will take delivery of 100 aircraft by the end of 2023.

Last month, civil aviation chiefs ordered UAE airlines to halt all flights to Baghdad after a flydubai jet, with 154 passengers on board, was fired on by insurgents using small arms as it landed in the Iraqi capital. After the plane landed, investigators found “damage to the aircraft fuselage consistent with small-arms fire”, flydubai said at the time.


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