Flydubai, Dubai’s first low cost airline, has reached its second anniversary with an impressive collection of statistics that prove the airline’s growing success and importance in the UAE’s aviation market.
Chairman of Flydubai, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “After just two years in operation Flydubai is now a household name in the region. Flydubai has consistently delivered a quality, affordable service during its two years of operation and millions of passengers have benefitted from the airline’s commitment to making travel more accessible and more affordable. It is this consistent, quality service that has made Flydubai a well-loved brand. With a network spanning the GCC, Middle East, North Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia and the fringes of Europe, Flydubai is stimulating demand for travel and finding new markets with an appetite for developing business and tourism links with the UAE. This brings benefits to all sectors of the economy and I look forward to Flydubai continuing with its good work for many years to come.”
The airline began operations on June 1, 2009, with a full flight of 189 passengers bound for Beirut and a commitment to make travel easier, more accessible and more affordable. Announced by the Government of Dubai in March 2008, the vision for the airline was to provide a low cost alternative on already popular routes from Dubai, such as Beirut, as well as to open up destinations that were underserved by direct air links to the UAE, such as Baku, Azerbaijan.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of Flydubai said, “Two years ago this month our first flight took off. It was a wonderful, exciting time but I could never have imagined that two years on we would be in the strong position that we are today. Our strategy was to expand as quickly as possible, adding aircraft and destinations at a rapid pace to ensure we reached a critical mass in the shortest possible time. Today we have 16 aircraft and 36 operational destinations - making us the fastest growing start up airline ever.”
“Flydubai would not have been able to grow and develop so quickly if we did not operate in such a fantastic environment for business as the UAE. One of the biggest challenges for a new company is dealing with rapid expansion while ensuring the systems, procedures and staff are in place to maintain consistent levels of service,” added Al Ghaith. “At flydubai we have achieved that and more. Despite starting operations at a difficult time for the aviation industry, flydubai has not only stuck to our ambitious growth plan, but we’ve added to it by taking on challenges such as bringing all our maintenance and engineering in-house. We’ve done all of this successfully while at the same time maintaining an On Time Performance record that is one of the best in the industry at 85%. And perhaps most importantly of all our passengers still receive a friendly welcome when they come on board flydubai.”
“We’ve taken a theory on a piece of paper and turned it into a reality - and a reality that works well. We’ve developed systems, training programmes, procedures which have made the vision of the Government of Dubai work in practice. We started with an ambitious plan and we are making that plan a reality. We have achieved an incredible amount in a very short space of time and that is something I am very proud of. I do not believe this could have been done anywhere else in the world. The support we have had from the authorities and the people of the UAE has been incredible. Dubai is a great place to do business and a very attractive place for people to come and live, which has meant it hasn’t been difficult to attract the right staff,” he said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to some of those responsible for creating this fantastic working environment for flydubai. Especial thanks must go to our Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, whose guidance has ensured we stay on track to fulfill the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who wanted flydubai to support Dubai’s commercial and tourism needs. Our rapid growth could only have been accomplished with the support of the GCAA, DCA and Dubai Airports who have worked closely with us to provide the facilities and operating slots we need for our expansion. This growth puts pressure on resources and facilities to grow as quickly as we do and I thank them for their support and patience,” he added.
Two years into operations, the airline has delivered on its commitments and despite rapid increases in fleet, network and passengers, flydubai has managed to keep the quality of its service high. One measure of how well an airline is performing is to look at the airline’s Available Seats per Kilometre (ASKM) and Revenue Per Kilometre (RPKM). From June 2010 - May 2011 flydubai recorded increases of 161% for ASKMs and 181% for RPKMs over the previous 12 months. Not only are these huge increases, but the fact that RPKM grew more than ASKM shows that the airline is working smartly and ensuring more revenue is being generated.
Another measure of success is to look at how many flights are delayed. flydubai’s record in this area is one of the best in the industry with On Time Performance recorded at 85%.
In addition the airline has moved towards maturity with the development of programmes to recruit and train staff at the highest level, as well as the development of its own in-house maintenance and engineering team to service flydubai’s rapidly growing fleet.
More than 80,000 people have applied to join the airline, which indicates flydubai’s strength in attracting and recruiting the best talent. With employee numbers now just crossing the 1,000 mark, this number shows the airline is attracting around 80 applications for every position, which ensures the airline can choose the very best candidates.
With a 78% increase in the number of flights, a 100% increase in aircraft, a 150% increase in routes and a 200% increase in passengers it is easy to see why flydubai is now the second largest carrier operating out of Dubai International Airport.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “In just two years flydubai has become a potent force in the region’s aviation industry. Now the second largest carrier operating out of Dubai International, flydubai has played a significant role in the continued success and growth of passenger traffic at the airport. By opening up new and previously untapped markets, flydubai is helping to bring in significant volumes of traffic from around the region to Dubai and beyond. I am confident that flydubai will continue to go from strength to strength over the coming years and I wish them all the best for the future.”
Al Ghaith commented, “I am proud to be able to announce such incredible achievements today. The flydubai team has worked extremely hard to ensure flydubai reached this point, and this success is the reward for that hard work. Clearly our strategy is paying off. We knew there was a place for us in the market and we have worked hard and ensured that we have made that place our own. We’ve taken the business head on, surmounted all the obstacles and made it work. When I look back over the two years that we have been flying and see how far we have come, it makes me very proud.”
“Two years into our operations and we are right on track. I am confident that our strategy is the right one. flydubai is well placed to continue to forge ahead into new markets with new innovations in the future. I am confident 2011 will be another good year for flydubai,” he concluded.