Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief exexcutive of flydubai, has explained the importance of the UAE’s role in allowing the airline to flourish at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress held in London, UK.
In his speech to leading aviation figures from around the globe, Al Ghaith said: “Throughout our three years of operations we have remained agile in our ability to capitalize on opportunities and we continue to challenge the conventions around low-cost travel.”
The speech, entitled ‘Delivering Trade, Tourism and Transport: making a fast-growing airline happen’, also saw him highlight the airline’s intention to double its fleet over the next four years and focus route expansion on Russia, Central & Eastern Europe and the GCC.
Al Ghaith underscored the role that the Government of Dubai has played in creating the right environment to enable the aviation sector to flourish.
Having long realised the industry’s potential to drive economic growth, the government has continued to invest heavily in world-class airlines and the associated tourism infrastructure.
As a result, the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai’s GDP is expected to rise from the current $22 billion to $45.4 billion in 2020.
The launch of its cargo operations earlier this year also means that flydubai is now involved in all four key sectors of Dubai’s economic diversification; trade, tourism, transportation and logistics.
These industries have driven growth and accounted for almost 60 per cent of the emirate’s GDP in 2011.
“We launched our operations during an unprecedented period of global economic crisis, however, by having a clear vision and strong leadership, we have opened up new and previously untapped markets which our fleet of 24 737-800NG aircraft gives us access to,” said Al Ghaith.
Geographically, flydubai has prioritised Russia, the CIS and Central & Eastern Europe as its main expansion market, having introduced eight new routes in the region over the past 12 months.
“We knew that by carrying Dubai’s name we would challenge conventions around low-cost travel. flydubai, which embodies the spirit of Dubai’s entrepreneurism, was created to enable more people to have the opportunity to travel affordably by opening up new routes and allowing a greater number of people to have direct access to the UAE’s commercial and tourism opportunities and its global aviation hub,” said Al Ghaith.
flydubai is considered the Middle East’s Leading Low-cost Airline by the World Travel Awards.