flydubai, Dubai's first low cost airline, became a reality on Monday, June 1, 2009, when its first commercial flight took off.
The first flight, which was to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was closely followed by flights to Amman, Jordan, on June 2, Damascus, Syria, on June 8 and Alexandria, Egypt, on June 9, giving the new airline a total of four destinations in just nine days.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai said: "This region is very dependant on air transport. It is a great credit to the vision and leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that this airline has now taken off, thereby ensuring residents and visitors alike will be able to travel to more places more often."
The flydubai model is simple, with customers only paying for the services they want. The ticket price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10kg, per passenger.
Passengers have the option to purchase checked-in baggage in advance at just 40AED for the first piece and 100AED for the second, weighing up to 32kgs, subject to availability. Checked baggage is strictly subject to availability and passengers are advised to book early to secure the space, as only pre-purchased baggage can be guaranteed.
A nominal payment of 5AED allows customers to select their seat and just 50AED secures the extra legroom positions. Tickets are changeable for a small fee, plus any difference in the fare, and food and drink can be purchased on board.
"flydubai aims to make travel a little less complex, a little less stressful and a little less expensive," explained flydubai's CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith. "Our passengers have the option to customise their travel experience depending on what services they want and how much they want to pay.
"We plan to stimulate the markets in which we operate and encourage people to travel to more places more often. flydubai's aim is not to drive traffic away from the other carriers but to help grow these markets. When you consider that low cost travel in this region could be as little as 2% of all air travel, as opposed to more than 20% in Europe and America, it is clear that there is a lot of untapped potential in these markets.
"In addition, flydubai will fly to airports that are currently underserved by the traditional carriers. In a region which is so dependant on air transport, we are looking forward to providing the reality of accessible, low cost, uncomplicated travel."