FlyDubai Boeing 737-800. Photo: Salvatore Michelini

MIAMI – Budget airline FlyDubai (FZ) is expanding its network after a steady increase in operations since June. It now serves 44 destinations across Africa, Europe, the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.

In March, FZ temporarily stopped all operations due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Worldwide travel restrictions resulted in the airline having to suspend flights to over 10 countries. The airline chose to configure some of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft to carry cargo and began operating reparation flights. In July, FZ announced it would resume scheduled passenger flights.

“We initially saw our passengers travelling to see their family and friends. As more countries have opened up for tourism we are now seeing more passengers travel for leisure to enjoy their first holiday of the year,” says Chief Executive Officer Hamad Obaidalla. “Whilst the pandemic has changed the way we travel we can be reassured that the safety measures taken at the airport, on board our flights and at the destination provide a safe environment to travel again with peace of mind.”

FlyDubai Boeing 737-800. Photo: Mohammadreza Farhadi Aref via Wikimedia

New Flight Schedules

In addition to adding new destinations, FZ is increasing the frequency of some of its current flights. The updated schedules include:

  • Malé, Maldives (MLE): 4x weekly beginning October 27, daily beginning December 17
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (SJJ): 4x weekly beginning October 29
  • Najaf, Iraq (NJF): 3x weekly beginning October 22
  • Erbil, Iraq (EBL): 6x weekly beginning November 9
  • Zanzibar, Tanzania (ZNZ): 2x weekly beginning November 9

Malé is one of FZ’s new destinations. The first flight arrived at MLE on October 27. Already, the airline claims it is seeing an increase in demand for flights to the Maldives. The daily service will arrive in time for the peak holiday season throughout January 2021.

FlyDubai Boeing 737-800. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia

Redesigned Passenger Experience

To comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, FZ has redesigned its passenger experience. This enables customers to travel safely while reducing contact between them and Crew Members. In September, FZ announced it would offer free global COVID-19 insurance to its passengers.

The insurance will cover health and quarantine expenses if a passenger is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip. Any passenger who books a trip from now until November 30 will automatically receive coverage. FlyDubai states that it wants to “encourage more people to travel with ease of mind knowing that they will be looked after at every step of their journey.”

Featured image: FlyDubai Boeing 737-800. Photo: Salvatore Michelini