Dubai’s new budget carrier to be independent entity

March 20th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, March 20 (IANS) The new low-cost airline announced by the Dubai government will be an independent entity with its own brand and identity with Emirates airline assisting it in its launch till its first flight. “Emirates will assist in the formation of Dubai’s new low-cost airline up to its first flight,” Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates, told the state-run WAM news agency.

The proposed airline will operate from Dubai’s new international airport that is being built at Jebel Ali, 40 km from downtown Dubai.

“We expect to start the airline within a year’s time from the Jebel Ali airport,” the budget carrier’s chief executive Ghaith Saeed Al Ghaith told the Gulf News newspaper.

To be called Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport, the new facility at Jebel Ali will be 10 times larger than Dubai’s current international airport. It will have an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tonnes or three times that of Memphis, which is today’s largest cargo hub. It will have a passenger capacity of over 120 million or 30 percent more than that of Atlanta, currently the world’s busiest airport.

Stating that the budget carrier would be run by a new company under the Dubai government separate from the Emirates group, Al Ghaith said: “Its operation will be based in the low-cost terminal of the Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali.”

The first of the six runways of the new airport is expected to be operational in two months.

As for the finances of the new company, Al Ghaith said the Dubai government would be there to support it.

“It’s too early for us to talk about funding requirements,” he told the newspaper.

“However, you could be sure that whatever capital requirements we have, the Government of Dubai is there to back us up. So money is not an issue.”

As for the fare structure, he said: “You’ll come to know in due course. However, it will obviously be cheaper than most conventional airlines serving the region.”

The airline will initially start its operations with single-aisle aircraft and operate within the Gulf and neighbouring countries, connecting destinations that can be covered in four-and-a-half hours from Dubai.

“We are looking at either A320s, A321s or Boeing 737s to start operations,” Al Ghaith said.

“We will soon start talking to aircraft suppliers for deployment of the aircraft. For leasing, all options are open and we will be talking to potential partners.”

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