Leisure demand fuels flydubai network expansion

Frequency increases are planned on routes to Male, Sarajevo and Erbil.

Dubai-based LCC flydubai has expanded its network to 44 destinations worldwide and further frequency increases are planned over the coming weeks as demand continues to grow.

CCO Hamad Obaidalla said VFR traffic characterized the initial phase of the carrier’s network rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but leisure travel is making a comeback as more countries reopen their borders.

“We initially saw our passengers travelling to see their family and friends,” he said. “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.”

In response to this, flydubai is planning to increase service to Male’s Velana International Airport (MLE) in the Maldives from 4X-weekly to daily between Dec. 17 and Jan. 18, 2021. The LCC only restarted the route on Oct. 27 after a near three-year absence from its network.

From Oct. 29, the airline also increased flights from Dubai (DXB) to Sarajevo (SJJ) in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 3X-weekly to 4X-weekly. This followed service to Najaf (NJF) in Iraq rising to 3X-weekly from Oct. 22.

On Nov. 9, flydubai will also expand service to Erbil (EBL) in Iraq from 4X-weekly to 6X-weekly.

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, flydubai is this week (w/c Oct. 26) operating about 86,200 seats across 485 flights. Capacity during the same week a year ago was 222,000 seats across almost 1,250 flights.

Photo credit: Rob Finlayson

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