Flydubai Adds St Petersburg As UAE-Russia Capacity Grows

The LCC is adding flights to St Petersburg as the UAE continues its neutral stance regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Credit: Markus Mainka / Alamy Stock Photo

Flydubai is further expanding in Russia, increasing its network to nine destinations.

The UAE-based LCC plans to start a Dubai (DXB)-St Petersburg’s Pulkovo (LED) service from Jan. 20, 2023. Service will be daily using Boeing 737-8s.

The flight time on the 4,299-km (2,321-nm) route is 6 hr. 50 min., making it one of the longer flights the carrier operates after Krabi and Pattaya in Thailand, which will also commence on Jan. 20.

The UAE has maintained ties with Russia and refrained from joining the sanctions imposed by the US and other Western allies in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We have taken delivery of 18 new aircraft this year which has enabled us to continue to expand our network and add more capacity on some of our existing routes.

“We are confident this momentum will continue well into next year thanks to the hard work of everyone at flydubai and the encouraging economic environment Dubai has given us.”

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, flydubai will join Emirates in serving the Dubai-St Petersburg market. Emirates has been steadily increasing capacity on the route in recent weeks, growing from 4X-weekly frequencies in early November to daily operations by the week commencing Dec. 12.

Flydubai began serving Russia in 2010 and flies to Kazan, Makhachkala, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow Vnukovo, Novosibirsk, Samara, Ufa and Yekaterinburg.

The airline offers 26,160 two-way weekly seats between the UAE and Russia at the present time, up from 11,286 at this time in 2019. Overall UAE-Russia capacity stands at 90,838 two-way weekly seats, compared with 72,587 three years ago.

In November, Air Arabia announced plans to launch three new routes from Sharjah (SHJ) to Ufa, Yekaterinburg and Kazan, as well as from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Kazan and Yekaterinburg onboard Air Arabia Abu Dhabi.