Flydubai Anticipates Double-Digit Growth in 2023

Flydubai Anticipates Double-Digit Growth in 2023

DALLAS — Flydubai (FZ) is looking forward to a successful 2023. The airline, the sister company of Emirates (EK), expects double-digit growth in the new year as the demand for air travel surges in the post-pandemic era.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Flydubai’s CEO, said on Thursday that in terms of the number of aircraft, destinations, employees, and passenger traffic, FZ was more than 80% larger than it was in 2019. The airline’s fleet currently consists of 71 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Its 4,650 employees staff a route structure that reaches 114 destinations.

Flydubai is an Emirati government-owned LCC with its headquarters and flight operations in Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport (DBX).

FlyDubai A6-FMP Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Strong Demand

“Demand is out of this world; we’ve never seen such demand, and this is why we’re very optimistic,” Mr. Al Ghaith said. “Next year will also be very good demand-wise… and I think this momentum will continue also in 2024.”

Factors leading to Al Garath’s optimism include the UAE government’s management of the pandemic, the impact of hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, and the after-effects of the FIFA World Cup held in nearby Qatar. Also, the government introduced new visa policies that make it easier for people to live, work, and retire in Dubai.

The airline is also keeping a tight rein on costs, allowing FZ to report a Dh841m (US$229m) profit in 2021, compared with a Dh712.6m (US$194m) loss in 2020.

Flydubai A6-FMN Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Brad Tisdel/Airways

New Aircraft

An article in notes that Flydubai took delivery of 20 MAX 737s in 2022 allowing it to operate to 114 destinations. The company’s route map shows that it flies as far east as Chattogram (CGP), Bangladesh; north to Yekaterinburg (SVX), Russia; west to Pisa (PSA), Italy; and south to dar es Salam (DAR), Tanzania.

FZ plans to expand to additional destinations including Krabi (KBV), Thailand; Milan (MXP), Italy, and Gan (GAN), Maldives.

In 2022, the airline hired around 1,300 new employees, 80% of whom are cabin crew engineers and pilots. The airline plans to continue hiring into the new year.

One potential hazard on the international scene is the specter of rising inflation. But the company is not dissuaded by this. “I don’t think it will hurt demand … I can guarantee that until the summer for sure demand will be very strong, and I think the rest of the year will be very strong,” Mr. al Ghaith said.

Dubai-based flydubai announced this week that it carried more than 130,000 football to the biggest football tournament in the world. The carrier operated 1,290 flights between Dubai World Central (DWC) and Doha International Airport (DIA). The company looks forward to strong growth in 2023. Photo: flydubai

World Cup

During the recent World Cup, FZ carried more than 130,000 passengers on 1,290 flights between Dubai World Central (DWC) and Doha International Airport (DIA)—a 1:15 flight of about 400 km. FZ was second only to Qatar Airways in the number of match-day shuttle flights. Passengers from 171 countries traveled to Doha on FZ’s shuttles.

“We created in this operation: a very unique, seamless travel [experience] that made it so easy for people to go to the World Cup and come back,” Mr. al Ghaith said. It was like a dream.”

Featured image: FlyDubai A6-FMH Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

John Huston is a marketer, writer, and videographer who's always loved planes, clocked 10 whole hours in a Cessna and can spend hours wandering around ATL. Based in Atlanta, GA, United States.

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