Dubai: The Gulf emirate of Dubai announced on Monday the launch of its first budget airline called flydubai, which will be taking to the skies in two months despite the global financial crisis.
Flydubai will start with flights to the Lebanese capital Beirut on 1 June and to Jordan’s capital Amman on 2 June, said company chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum.
“We are committed to bringing a new option to the market and to growing the region’s budget air travel business,” Sheikh Ahmed said at a press conference.
“This will benefit our economy, our people, and tourism business as a whole.”
Dubai first announced the establishment of flydubai in March 2008, with a start-up capital of 250 million dirhams ($67 million). It will operate two next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft on both the Beirut and Amman routes, Sheikh Ahmed said.
The emirate owns the largest West Asia carrier, Emirates, and has the busiest airport in the region which handled more than 37 million passengers in 2008, a 9% increase from 2007.
The new airline will be based at Dubai Airport.