Dubai-based low-cost carrier Flydubai has today announced that business class tickets are now on sale, with flights offering the premium option starting in October. It plans to continue adding more business class routes across its network in the months to come.
Flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “As the evolution of our passenger offering continues, we are delighted to announce that our business class routes are now on sale. We are also tremendously excited to be offering the business class experience on routes that have not had this option before with any airline, such as Bishkek, Donetsk and Juba.
Flydubai received its first aircraft with business class seats at the start of August, and since then they have been used for testing and training. All new aircraft subsequently delivered will include business and economy classes, while existing aircraft will be retrofitted to include the premium option.
Flydubai’s first flight offering Business Class will be flight FZ729 from Dubai to Kiev, departing at 0:05hrs on 8 October 2013. Other business class routes starting in October include Malé, Istanbul, Mineralnye Vody and Bucharest.
“Our Business Class option, along with the variety of destinations we now fly to, gives our customers yet another reason to choose Flydubai. This moment also signifies the growth of our fleet and with the arrival of our new business class aircraft, we plan to add more business class destinations to our network by the end of the year. As tickets go on sale today we look forward to welcoming our Business Class customers in this new chapter in flydubai’s history.”
Flydubai’s business class offering includes a comfortable spacious seat and a generous checked baggage allowance. Seats are fitted with Flydubai’s award-winning in-flight entertainment system with a high-definition, 12.1-inch touchscreen and a choice of internationally inspired menus and refreshments. Business class customers will also benefit from a priority check-in service and a dedicated 24-hour customer service team to assist with bookings and attend to enquires throughout a customer’s journey.
Analyst Saj Ahmad said: “Flydubai's continued knack for refining the low cost market with the introduction of a new business class product aboard its fleet will mark it apart from its GCC competitors. Indeed, the start of business class equipped flights to Kiev will mean that Flydubai's retrofit of the new cabin will see the additional premium option opened up to all its network, further adding significant revenue to its bottom line.
“While Flydubai will lose capacity from 189 seats on its Boeing 737-800s to 174 seats, a capacity reduction of 8%, this will be more than offset by the additional yield it can covet from the 12 premium seats on every flight. In contrast to competitors like Air Arabia who only have around 162 seats on their Airbus A320s, Flydubai will still enjoy a 7% capacity advantage, coupled with higher fare paying premium passengers on board, which will assist in lowering seat and trip mile costs further, so that fares stay lower for economy passengers while costing Flydubai less to fly more people - in the low cost market, this sort of advantage is critical. Without low costs, fares would not be accessible to those with a penchant for avoiding excessive fares and add-on fees.
“This is a big deal for Flydubai and one has to wonder how long it will be before Air Arabia, Nasair and other low cost Arab airlines start to emulate this product.”