KSA and Turkmenistan make it another route double for flydubai
flydubai, Dubai's first low cost airline, made another double route announcement today to take the airline's network to 28 destinations. Flights to the Saudi city, Abha, and the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, will begin later this month.
flydubai CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: "We are delighted to be able to announce the expansion of our route network today to these two very different but significant points. flydubai's flights to Abha in the South West of Saudi Arabia will be the first direct flights from the city to the UAE and we are confident there will be a significant demand for this route. People travelling from Abha have had very few direct international flights to choose from and the addition of this new flydubai service will ensure the time and cost taken to travel from Abha to the UAE and beyond will be significantly reduced.
"These flights also mark our introduction to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which we are very excited about, and mean we can now count flights to every country in the GCC in our network."
Abha is the capital of Asir province, in south west Saudi Arabia. The city is a burgeoning tourist destination, with the summer Abha Festival a draw for visitors, as well as the incredibly impressive Al Habala village, located some 2000 metres above sea level. The stunning site features stone and mud houses built precariously on the side of a steep slope, only accessible by cable car.
The moderate climate is a major attraction to the city especially in the summer months – Abha sees the highest rainfall in the Kingdom, and is significantly cooler than other parts of the country, meaning it is a great place to escape the summer heat.
Al Ghaith continued: "Our second new route is Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Situated across the Caspian Sea from Baku, Azerbaijan, which has proven to be a good route since its launch last year, we believe Ashgabat will also develop into a successful route for flydubai. Central Asia is a growing market, and the nations in the region are beginning to flourish, attracting international business and tourism.
"Turkmenistan is perhaps best known for its wonderful carpets and rich gas reserves, so there is tremendous business potential in the area. The introduction of flydubai's low cost quality travel will help entrepreneurs on both sides to take advantage of the opportunities which exist for trade and tourism between our two countries."
The Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, is a relatively new city, but the historically important Silk Road ran through the country, meaning there has been much activity and history in the area for many centuries. The Parthian Empire was found in the area that is now Turkmenistan, and the Persians had a great influence on the region, meaning a trip to the Ashgabat National History Museum is well worth the effort.
Flights from Dubai to Abha begin on November 23, offering thrice weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, until January 17, 2011 when flights will operate daily. Flight FZ811 departs Dubai at 0100hrs, arriving in Abha at 0255hrs local time. The return flight FZ812 takes off for Dubai Terminal 2 at 0340hrs, landing in Dubai at 0715hrs UAE time. Flights to Abha begin at AED450 per person, including one piece of hand luggage weighing 10kg. Flights from Abha to Dubai start at SAR460, with a 10kg piece of hand luggage included.
The service to Ashgabat begins on Tuesday 30 November, flying twice a week. Flight FZ731 departs Dubai on a Tuesday at 0810hrs touching down in Turkmenistan at 1140hrs local time. Return flight FZ732 leaves on a Tuesday at 1225hrs, reaching Dubai Terminal 2 at 1400hrs. FZ731 leaves Dubai on a Friday at 1150hrs, landing in Ashgabat at 1520hrs. FZ732 departs Ashgabat on a Thursday at 1605hrs and lands in Dubai at 1740hrs local time. Flights to Ashgabat start at AED1,025. Flights from Ashgabat to Dubai start at USD285.