Flydubai will start flights to Thiruvanthapuram, Kochi and Delhi from Dubai, taking the number of its services to six Indian cities, airline Chief Executive Officer Gaithal Gaith said here today.
From June 1, the airline will start a four times a week service linking Delhi and Dubai, while three times a week service linking Thiruvanthapuram and Dubai will start on the following day.
From June 3, the airline will also add Kochi to its route network offering a three times a week flight from Dubai.
Flydubai's expansion comes at a time when IndiGo has cut back on its Dubai flights because of runway issues at Dubai Airport.
The start of the three new services will see a doubling in the number of cities in India to which the airline flies as it currently operates nine weekly flights to Lucknow, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad from Dubai.
The announcement of the new flights comes in the backdrop of India and Dubai recently signing a bilateral air services agreement which saw an increase in the number of flights that airlines from each country can operate on a weekly basis.
Emirates and flydubai are the two airlines from Dubai which are allowed by the Dubai Government to operate flights to and from India while Jet, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India operate from India to Dubai.
The increase in flights by flydubai is likely to see enhanced competition between the neighbouring emirati of Sharjah from where the low cost airline Air Arabia operates over 100 weekly flights to 13 destinations in India.
The expansion also follows a revision of the bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Dubai recently. Carriers of both countries can now offer upto 10,000 additional seats in a phased manner.
The increase was applicable for both, flydubai and Emirates airline. While flydubai is increasing cities it flies to, Emirates is expected to launch services of the Airbus 380 aircraft sometime soon.
Dubai's government-owned flydubai was launched in March 2008 with the vision of providing a low-cost alternative on already popular routes from Dubai, as well as open up destinations that were underserved by direct air links to the UAE, thereby boosting trade and tourism.