flydubai, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, this week launched flights to Kiev, Kharkiv and Donetsk as part of its commitment to open up routes previously underserved by direct air links to the UAE.
Representing its entry into Ukraine, the three new routes bring flydubai’s total operational network to 44 destinations across the GCC, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Asia and the fringes of Europe and pave the way for UAE football fans looking to travel to Ukraine for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2012.
flydubai’s inaugural flights to Ukraine’s capital Kiev and its second major city Kharkiv took off from Dubai on Friday 16th September at 0900hrs and 0910hrs respectively. They were then followed by the airline’s first flight to the eastern-city of Donetsk, which took off a day later on Saturday 17th September at 0900hrs, also departing from Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport.
The inaugural flights were celebrated at official ceremonies held at the international airports of each city, at which senior flydubai and Ukraine state officials, including the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Boris Kolesnikov and flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith, were present.
Mr Al Ghaith, said he was proud that the low-cost airline had become the first Middle Eastern airline to operate direct services to Kiev, Kharkiv and Donetsk and that the new routes would herald a new era of prosperity between the Middle East and Ukraine. “This is an historic week for flydubai and illustrates the scale of our ambition to expand into emerging markets, as well as our firm commitment to Ukraine.
“The welcome we have received from the authorities here has been extremely warm and the facilities at the airports in Kiev, Kharkiv and Donetsk are undergoing significant improvement to ensure they become world class. I would like to personally thank everyone who has been involved in making flydubai’s flights to Ukraine a reality for their generous support and professionalism. I am confident our Ukrainian routes will be very popular with travellers across the region wishing to explore the crossroads of Europe and Russia.
Boris Kolesnikov, Vice Prime Minister for Ukraine, Minister of Infrastructure and Chairman of UEFA Euro 2012, said: “Our infrastructure development for UEFA Euro 2012 is well underway and includes heavy investment in aviation to accommodate the increased traffic expected during the games and beyond. Attracting quality airlines is key to our strategy and we delighted to welcome flydubai here today. flydubai offers high quality affordable direct flights which will definitely stimulate traffic between our two countries.
“Visitors to the Ukraine will find much to enjoy here. Extensive cultural experiences, wonderful Ukrainian food, beautiful buildings and scenery, great sporting events and seasonal weather to ensure travellers can enjoy summer sun and winter snow. We look forward to welcoming the new visitors flydubai will bring to Ukraine as well as to exploring the new opportunities for business these flights will offer between the Ukraine and the UAE.”
AS a bridge between Europe and Russia, Ukraine earns its title as the eighth most visited country in the world largely due to its location. It has long been a popular tourist and transit spot with the country’s strong roots in European and Russian history but has forged a unique identity, offering tourists a distinctive adventure, cultural and leisure experience.
Ukraine also has a strong sporting pedigree, with a number of matches from next year’s UEFA Euro 2012 being played in all three cities. The final will be held at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium.
* Flight FZ727 departs from Dubai Terminal 2 at 0900hrs, landing in Kiev at 1315hrs local time. The return flight FZ728 will depart at 1415hrs, landing back in Dubai at 2010hrs. A one-way fare to Kiev from Dubai starts at AED715.
* Flight FZ725 departs from Dubai Terminal 2 at 0910hrs, landing in Kharkiv at 1310hrs local time. The return flight FZ726 will depart at 1410hrs, landing back in Dubai at 1940hrs. A one-way fare to Kharkiv from Dubai starts at AED790.
* Flight FZ721 departs from Dubai Terminal 2 at 0900hrs, landing in Donetsk at 1225hrs local time. The return flight FZ722 will depart at 1325hrs, landing back in Dubai at 1835hrs. A one-way fare from Dubai to Donetsk starts at AED 790.
* The time difference between the UAE and Ukraine is one hour.