flydubai established new links with old friends this morning as Dubai’s first low cost airline touched down in Muscat, Oman, in what will surely be one of the carrier's most popular short haul services. The flight makes Muscat the third GCC destination for Dubai's first low cost airline, after Doha and Bahrain – flydubai's first flight to Kuwait, in less than 48 hours will expand flydubai’s GCC network to four destinations. A VIP delegation from Oman, headed by the Undersecretary for Civil Aviation Affairs, His Excellency Mohammed bin Sakhar Al-Amri, met the flight, which included His Excellency Mohammed A. Ahli, Director General, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and flydubai’s Chief Executive Ghaith Al Ghaith. H.E. Mohammed bin Sakhar Al-Amri, Undersecretary of Civil Aviation Affairs, Oman, said: "This is an extremely important route between two highly significant cities in the Middle East. Oman has become a magnet for local, regional and international tourism and there is a constant demand from UAE travellers to come and enjoy our natural beauty and attractions. With each passing year that demand grows and flydubai's low cost service will certainly help to boost the number of visitors this region receives.” H.E. Mohammed A. Ahli, Director General, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, said: “I am delighted to be able to witness the start of flydubai’s operations to Muscat by travelling on the inaugural flight. flydubai has enjoyed an excellent first 10 months and this new route will only serve to strengthen the airline and the ties between the UAE and Oman. I am confident this new service will provide a boost to the numbers of tourists travelling to Oman from the UAE. We congratulate the Omani Ministry of Tourism for their wisdom in welcoming more tourists to their beautiful country.”
Al Ghaith said: "We are very pleased to be starting our double daily service to the Sultanate and I would like to thank the authorities in Oman, especially His Excellency Mohammed bin Sakhar Al-Amri for his support in making this new flight happen and for his very generous welcome. “Oman is a unique destination that combines ancient history and a modern economy with a very friendly, welcoming population. This is a 10,000 year old society that for centuries was on the essential trade route between the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean. The Sultanate is known for its culture and tradition and everyone who has visited will tell you there is something magical about Oman. "Oman was always going to be a natural choice for flydubai and we are delighted to have this service underway. In less than two days, we take off for Kuwait widening our network to 13 locations,” he said. While business ties grow ever stronger between the Emirates and the Sultanate, many passengers will also be looking to visit Oman for a chance to unwind and indulge in one of the region's most fascinating locations. Oman has seen a vast increase in tourist numbers, attracted by UNESCO world heritage sites, natural wadis and extensive white beaches, and has won a reputation for capturing the essence of the region. The latest Oman Tourist Report quotes a 17.5% year-on-year rise in tourist arrivals during the first five months of 2009, and while visitor numbers are recorded at just over 2 million per year, the Sultanate hopes to increase that to 12 million by 2020. flydubai's existing routes include Beirut-Lebanon, Amman-Jordan, Damascus and Aleppo-Syria, Alexandria-Egypt, Djibouti-Africa, Doha-Qatar, Khartoum–Sudan, Baku-Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kathmandu-Nepal. The twice daily flights to Oman cost from AED 250 one way including all taxes. FZ043 and FZ045 leave Dubai at 0625hrs and 1625hrs respectively, arriving in Muscat at 0725hrs and 1725hrs local time respectively. The return flights, FZ044 and FZ046 leave at 0810hrs and 1810hrs and arrive at 0910hrs and 1910hrs local time. The flydubai model is simple, with customers paying only for the services they want to receive. The price includes all taxes and one piece of hand baggage, weighing up to 10 kg, per passenger. flydubai operates from a modernised and enhanced Terminal 2 on the north side of Dubai International Airport.