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Khaleej Times, Monday, May 09, 2022 | Shawwal 08, 1443

Flydubai records 114% growth in passenger traffic in Q1

Emirates: Flydubai began the year on high note as it recorded strong growth in passenger traffic during the first quarter of 2022 following ease in travel restrictions and opening of international borders.

The Dubai-based airline on Sunday said it carried 2.35 million passengers through 19,000 flights during the January-March quarter, reflecting a strong year-on-year growth of 114 per cent in passenger traffic.

The airline also noticed an increase in demand for connecting traffic as 43 per cent of passengers connecting on to the carrier’s network compared to 28 per cent for the same period last year.

“Demand for travel in business class continues to grow across the network and Europe saw an increase to 51 per cent in first quarter of 2022, up from 39 per cent in 2021,” the airline said in a statement.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at flydubai, said Dubai has demonstrated its ability to successfully overcome the various challenges presented by the pandemic and continues to thrive.

“We have continued our growth in 2022 capitalising on the tremendous results we reported for 2021,” he said.

“We have seen the number of passengers carried in the first quarter of this year more than double compared to the previous couple of years as we welcomed the world during Expo Dubai 2020, connected underserved markets to Dubai and added more frequencies around the network,” Al Ghaith said.

Strong business model

Flydubai termed its first-quarter performance exceptional and attributed the credit to the carrier’s growing network and added capacity on its existing routes that have been supported by new aircraft deliveries since the start of the year.

“Our strong business model, supported by our ongoing recruitment drive to grow our workforce in parallel with the scheduled aircraft deliveries this year, will see that we are well placed to accommodate the surge in demand as more people get ready to travel again over the summer,” Al Ghaith said.

Since commencing operations in June 2009, flydubai has been committed to removing barriers to travel, creating free flows of trade and tourism and enhancing connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. The airline launched more than 70 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.

Network exceeds pre-pandemic number

Flydubai inducted four new aircraft this year, growing its fleet of Boeing 737s to 63 aircraft serving its growing network of more than 100 destinations in 50 countries across Africa, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Central and South-East Europe, the GCC and the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent. During the first quarter of 2022, the airline exceeded the number of destinations it operated prior to the pandemic.

The carrier relaunched flights to Yanbu (YNB) in Saudi Arabia in February and added AlUla (ULH) and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) to its growing network in March, and has also announced the start of flights to a number of new destinations including Pisa in Italy and Izmir in Turkey commencing this summer.

“The carrier will take delivery of 18 more aircraft over the next few months, for which financing mandates have been issued. To support this growth trajectory, flydubai is currently undergoing a recruitment drive to add more talented professionals to its workforce and this includes pilots, cabin crew and various positions across the business,” according to the statement.

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