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Flydubai passenger traffic up 30% despite jet order delays

Flydubai carried more than four million passengers between June and mid-September 2023 Wam
Flydubai carried more than four million passengers between June and mid-September 2023

UAE carrier flydubai has reported a 30 percent year-on-year rise in passenger numbers this summer.

A senior executive said the airline would have seen an even larger increase if the new aircraft it ordered had been delivered as scheduled.

The low-cost airline carried more than four million passengers between June and mid-September 2023, and operated more than 32,000 flights to 120 destinations in 52 countries, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported.

The carrier in June increased its seat capacity across its network by 33 percent year-on-year between June 1 and September 30, 2023, due to growing travel demand.

An average of 9,400 flights per month are scheduled between June 1 and September 30, with August being the busiest month.

The seasonal summer routes saw two new additions – Corfu in Greece and Olbia in Sardinia, offering access to more holiday destinations.

Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “We continue to create free trade and tourism flows by offering the right product at the right time, making travel accessible to new and previously underserved markets. By doing so, we have enabled more than four million passengers to travel this summer via Dubai’s aviation hub.”

The airline recorded a 70 percent increase in passenger numbers to Trabzon and more than 40 percent to Bodrum this summer, the CEO said. 

“We believe these figures could have potentially been even higher if the aircraft we ordered had been delivered on schedule. This would have enabled us to add more capacity on some of these popular routes,” said Al Ghaith.

The carrier expects further delays to its scheduled aircraft deliveries this year. It has signed an agreement to lease four next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft between October 17, 2023, and April 16, 2024, increasing capacity during the upcoming busy travel periods. 

The airline has taken delivery of seven new aircraft since the start of 2023, growing its fleet of Boeing 737s to 79 aircraft, an increase of 23 percent year-on-year.

Over the last six months, the carrier has increased its workforce by adding 560 new pilots, cabin crew and other staff from 138 nationalities.

In March, Flydubai reported profits of AED1.2 billion ($327 million) in 2022, an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

Annual revenue reached $2.5 billion, up from $1.4 billion. Flydubai carried 10.6 million passengers, an increase of 89 percent.