The airline has a work force of almost 5,000 professionals from 136 nationalities. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai-based carrier flydubai marked 14 years of service on Thursday.

It was on June 1, 2009, that the carrier welcomed its first passengers on board its inaugural flight FZ 157 from Dubai to Beirut. Since then, the airline has created a network of 120 destinations and flown more than 90 million passengers.

Commenting on the anniversary, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, said: “flydubai has been at the forefront of opening previously underserved destinations from Dubai, facilitating flows of trade and tourism, and strengthening the cultural and social ties between people from different countries.

“flydubai has proven its ability to adapt and take decisive actions, even during challenging times, thanks to its operational efficiencies and robust business model. This was evident in the way the airline navigated the challenges during the pandemic: preserving the workforce, continuing to grow its network and returning to pre-pandemic levels in record time. All of which was achieved capitalising on its internal resources.”

Milestones over the years:

• A network of 120 destinations in 52 countries

• Opened more than 75 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai

• Grown its work force to almost 5,000 skilled professionals from 136 nationalities

• Grown its fleet to 78 Boeing 737 aircraft

• Carried more than 90 million passengers

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO at flydubai, said: “14 years ago, our first flight took off with the commitment to make travel more accessible, supporting Dubai’s economic and tourism goals while keeping passengers at the core of everything we do. I am proud of the growth we have achieved along the way, we have evolved to adapt to the changing market and customer needs, we have played a vital role Dubai’s aviation success story and we continue to invest in further improving our operational efficiencies to overall customer experience to exceed expectations and challenge conventions of travel in the region.”

“Our recent record financial performance, the continued investment in our colleagues and product innovation, and the ongoing recruitment drive are key indicators of how well-positioned we are to reach new heights. Every new milestone we achieve is only possible with the continued hard work and commitment of everyone at flydubai,” he added.

Bumper quarter

Earlier this year, the airline recorded an exceptional first quarter, operating 25,800 flights carrying more than 3.37 million passengers between January 1 and March 31, an increase of 50 per cent over the year-ago period. The carrier also plans to ramp up operations for the busy summer travel period between July 1 and September 30, increasing its capacity by 20 per cent across the network.

Since the start of 2023, flydubai has further expanded its network with the start of operations to St Petersburg in Russia, Pattaya and Krabi in Thailand, Al Qaisumah, Al Ula, Gizan, Nejran and Neom in Saudi Arabia, Shymkent in Kazakhstan, Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, Mogadishu in Somalia and Milan-Bergamo in Italy.